> The Things You Can Read: Review: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

The Bookstore

Review: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Rating:4 of 5 stars

“I, Esme Garland, do not approve of mess. This is unfortunate, because ever since I woke up this morning I’ve had a feeling that I might be in one,” thus begins The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. What a surprise for Esme, a smart Brit who is working on her PhD in art history at Columbia University in New York City, when she discovers she is pregnant. A baby is not in her plans, especially not a baby with someone who she has only been dating a few months. The rest of the story follows the rocky road Esme travels over the next nine months, and rocky it is. All the twists and turns in Esme’s journey to Georgie’s arrival are what make the novel an entertaining read. 

The Bookstore is set in New York City, and the city itself is a character. Her personality shines from chapter to chapter. Enjoy discovering the name of an “out of the way” restaurant, a favorite museum, or some other New York landmark which Meyler slips into the storyline, creating a real New York feel. Knowledge of the city will only add to the enjoyment of this debut author’s novel. If you are a novice to New York the novel will generate a deep seated-desire to visit “The Big Apple.” For those readers who love the intricacies of life in New York this is a must read.

Esme’s true salvation and redemption comes not from her family back in England, but from the family she cultivates at her job at The Owl, a small, seemingly insignificant, independent book store sandwiched in-between the behemoth Gap and Staples on this New York City block. Easy to overlook, but once found, an oasis for thirsty literary souls. Esme’s relationships with "The Bookstore" pays homage to all those fellow bibliophiles out there who find peace, friendship, and community among the shelves of a favorite local independent bookstore. The Owl is Esme’s safety net. It is here that George, the owner of The Owl, and Luke, a long-standing, guitar playing manager, take Esme under their wings and give her the foundation to try and have it all, a baby and a PhD. 

If you are looking for a great summer read The Bookstore is definitely for you.

I'd like to thank Gallery Books and Edelweiss for providing an advance reader's copy of The Bookstore.

Summary Courtesy of Goodreads 
A witty, sharply observed debut novel about a young woman who finds unexpected salvation while working in a quirky used bookstore in Manhattan. Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend; her future couldn’t look brighter. Until she finds out that she’s pregnant.

Esme’s boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme—just before she tries to tell him about the baby—she resolves to manage alone. She will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa. 

The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters: handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene? 

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them, The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.

Does The Bookstore sound like a book for you?  Let us know here at The Things You Can Read.

Happy Reading!
The Things You Can Read
Believe In Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love, and the Power of Books!


  1. I have been thinking of trying this one when it releases. It sounds really interesting.

  2. Sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for putting this one my radar.


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