Published: 16th June 2016
Nightingale Books, nestled on the high street in the idyllic Cotswold town of Peasebrook, is a dream come true for booklovers. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous – but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers. Sarah Basildon, owner of stately pile Peasebrook Manor, has used the book shop as an escape from all her problems in the past few years. But is there more to her visits than meets the eye? Since messing up his marriage, Jackson asks Emilia for advice on books to read to the son he misses so much. But Jackson has a secret, and is not all he seems… And there’s Thomasina, painfully shy, who runs a pop-up restaurant from her tiny cottage. She has a huge crush on a man she met and then lost in the cookery section, somewhere between Auguste Escoffier and Marco Pierre White. Can she find the courage to admit her true feelings?
Thank you to Orion for kindly sending me a review copy.
The narrative begins in February 1983 when a single father picks a random town and decides to open a bookshop. With only himself and his daughter to look out for, he begins the venture in the hope that she will, one day, follow in his footsteps and just over thirty years later, she does just that. As the plot moves from the 80’s to the present tense, we witness Emilia burying her well respected Father before hearing from him back in the day. I liked the fact that the narrative went from era to era as it gave readers a real sense of what Julius wanted to get out of the bookshop.
“After all, a town without a bookshop was a town without a heart.”
Reading about how Emilia’s parents, Julius and Rebecca met was absolutely wonderful. They came together in a bookshop and bonded over one evening in a dirty gig venue. It wasn’t the most romantic of first meetings but it was sweet and with Veronica’s natural way with words, it was delightful to read. The relationship went from strength to strength, full of things in common before an unexpected pregnancy occurred. It wasn’t just their story which was being told throughout the plot as Veronica allows the readers to hear from a variation of characters ranging from Emilia to a money obsessed man to a lady who once loved Julius yet told no one.
“Leave it with me, mate. Nightingale Books will be yours by the end of the month.”
The plot is jam packed with love and respect between the characters who truly do come together during a crisis. I really enjoyed how the narrative played out in the end. Veronica’s descriptions are always beautiful and never fail to impress me. Emilia was my favourite character throughout the book – her personality shone throughout and she made me want to go into a book shop and just remain there for a day. Another gorgeous novel from Veronica.