Tuesday, April 9, 2024

THE BRITISH BOOKSELLERS by Kristy Cambron, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

With strong characters and an arresting plot, this was a memorable WWII story set in Coventry, England, when the unthinkable happened to devastate this quiet village.

Told in split time between WWI and 1940, the story revolves around the lives of Charlotte Terrington Holt and Amos Darby and their roles in the class system of days gone by. The author takes us back to a time when the whole country banded together to support the war effort by conservation, rationing, uprooting their lives and putting aside long held dreams for a united cause. “Childhood dreams had no place in the real world...”

The author delves into the background connections of Charlotte and Amos to give us the differences between classes and how that perspective changed during wartime. And as times change new romance takes wings. “To love meant to accept all the grit and grief alongside the beauty. To endure the harshness of life not with despair, but hope.”

Blackouts, sirens, Land Girls, loneliness, hidden secrets, surprising connections, second chances, a common goal. All these things and more come together in one emotional tale.

An exceptional story that gives yet another slant on what people went through during WWII on the home front.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book through NetGalley. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a subtle faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:

Inspired by real accounts of the Forgotten Blitz bombings, The British Booksellers highlights the courage of those whose lives were forever changed by war—and the stories that bind us in the fight for what matters most.

A tenant farmer’s son had no business daring to dream of a future with an earl’s daughter, but that couldn’t keep Amos Darby from his secret friendship with Charlotte Terrington…until the reality of the Great War sobered youthful dreams. Now decades later, he bears the brutal scars of battles fought in the trenches and their futures that were stolen away. His return home doesn’t come with tender reunions, but with the hollow fulfillment of opening a bookshop on his own and retreating as a recluse within its walls.

When the future Earl of Harcourt chose Charlotte to be his wife, she knew she was destined for a loveless match. Though her heart had chosen another long ago, she pledges her future even as her husband goes to war. Twenty-five years later, Charlotte remains a war widow who divides her days between her late husband’s declining estate and operating a quaint Coventry bookshop—Eden Books, lovingly named after her grown daughter. And Amos is nothing more than the rival bookseller across the lane.

As war with Hitler looms, Eden is determined to preserve her father’s legacy. So when an American solicitor arrives threatening a lawsuit that could destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to preserve, mother and daughter prepare to fight back. But with devastation wrought by the Luftwaffe’s local blitz terrorizing the skies, battling bookshops—and lost loves, Amos and Charlotte—must put aside their differences and fight together to help Coventry survive.

From deep in the trenches of the Great War to the storied English countryside and the devastating Coventry Blitz of World War II, The British Booksellers explores the unbreakable bonds that unite us through love, loss, and the enduring solace that can be found between the pages of a book.

-Split timeline: WWI and WWII
-Stand-alone novel
-Book length: 118,000 words
-Includes discussion questions for book clubs 

Thomas Nelson Publishing, April, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

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