Saturday, February 18, 2023

THE BOOKSHOP OF SECRETS by Mollie Rushmeyer, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

Hope Sparrow. "Ironically, her chosen name seemed a winged creature after all. One she could never seem to catch."

Just a name. Not her real name, for that person's life had been riddled with a plethora of tragic circumstances; Hope certainly didn't want anyone in Wanishin Falls to discover those, prompting Hope to simply introduce herself as a daughter coming back to her mother's hometown looking for several rare books that had been intended as part of an inheritance. Instead, as she walks through the door of the Dusty Jackets Bookshop, Hope comes face-to-face with Ulysses Barrick, whose early stage dementia has erased a lot of his memory and left him confused about what he has left . . . or not . . . he says some things that make Hope wonder.

Instead of a quick trip in and out of the little town, Hope finds herself lingering; her love for fine literature making her a perfect fit as a much needed assistant in the bookshop, for at least two months anyway while she continues her search for the illusive books. Ironically, Mags and Ulysses Barrick have a grandson, Ronan, who has a tragic past of his own. Ronan's curiosity about Hope's role in his grandparents' life transforms into an eagerness to help her, but he also makes Hope long for something she never thought possible; a future and a "hope".

This debut novel has a pleasantness about it that softens the edges of what reality has dealt its characters. The small town feel is a good fit for the deep seeded suspicions and long-standing quarrels among its members, not to mention the secrets . . . so, so many secrets. There is a solid foundation of spiritual truth underneath chapter after chapter of disappointment and heartache, for "God was the master potter. He was making something new. In her.", and what faith doesn't accomplish, love does.

Readers have a lot to look forward to!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family's legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family's history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope's last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she's lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

 Love Inspired, October, 2022
Available in digital ebook, library binding, and audiobook:

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