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THE SECRETS OF PAPER AND INK by Lindsay Harrel, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

What a treat to be transported to Cornwall England for a charming story of three different women linked together by a notebook found in a bookstore. 
Author Lindsay Harrel has masterfully woven together their different stories and placed them in a setting that left me longing to visit Cornwall in person and find that bookstore. The past and present come together in a captivating way that kept me enthralled through the entire book. Vividly drawn and realistic, but broken, characters help each other heal through their interaction. Sophia and Ginny find friendship in an unexpected way, and through that friendship, the story of Emily emerges. Although Emily lived over 150 years ago, her story is inspiring, and Harrel integrates her story with the present very effectively.

Tender threads of forgiveness, healing, friendship, and hope weave through the tale and give it an added depth. I also loved the message of following your dreams and finding joy and happiness in what you do. The growth and healing of each of the three women was beautiful and satisfying, and I was cheering for each to find their happily ever after. 4 ½ stars rounded to 5.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:

Brought together by a charming bookstore in England, three women fight to defy expectations, dream new dreams, and welcome love into their lives.

As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature.

Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance.

Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch.

Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:

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