Published: 11th February 2016
Publisher: Little Brown
Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly – dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books… not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing…
Thank you to Little Brown for kindly sending me a review copy.
The narrative beings with Nina, our main character, a just-been-made-redundant librarian on the hunt for a new job and despite the hurdles she knows she will face, she’s pretty certain she’s found the one for her. Instantly, I connected with Nina as a person and we had a lot in common; loves books, loves cups of tea, loves collecting books and wishes to work with them for the rest of her life. It is literally me, but Fictional.
“I want to be with books, have them all around me and recommend them to other people; books for the broken-hearted and the happy, and people excited to be going on holiday, and people who need to know they aren’t alone in the universe…”
Throughout Nina’s process into turning her new van into a mobile bookshop, readers meet multiple characters from all different walks of life with a vast range of personalities. There is everyone from her hilarious roommate, to train drivers to daily pub drivers to men who insist a woman cannot drive a van. I actually really liked that Jenny included a bit of sexism within the plot as it would more than likely happen in the real world.
“This was great buckets of flowers; of poetry, real poetry; she truly believed, deeply held feelings. She was catching the right train.”
The narrative doesn’t just focus on Nina’s new adventure with her bookshop as readers can expect a spot of romance as well as seeing Nina helping a family out in a time of need. I didn’t expect the latter from the plot but I really enjoyed that particular side of the plot – it added something new and as always, Jenny never fails to impress me with her storylines. Overall, I really enjoyed the narrative and if you’re a big bookworm, this is just perfect for you. I allowed myself to have a couple of days reading the book but I found that I couldn’t put it down after a few hours. Extremely enjoyable which is standard for a Jenny Colgan novel.
“Forgive me for thinking you’d give a shit about anything that isn’t a fricking sheep.”