Thursday, May 16, 2024

THE BRITISH BOOKSELLERS by Kristy Cambron, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Alone is a place the human heart was never meant to dwell."

And yet the two people who once felt completely at home with each other are now miserably estranged; the lovely and sophisticated Eden Books gracing one side of Bayley Lane wile the stalwart Waverly Novels bookshop roosts on the other; rumors continually swirling about in the small Coventry community over their terse competition. What possible connection could the widow of an earl and the son of a tenant farmer share? As it turns out, there's a story about that . . . one that is begging for a happy ending.
With her beautiful word flow, the author uses the Blitz bombings through-out England as an historical backdrop for a story that passes seamlessly from its past to its present with a certain amount of genteel grace that convinces readers to empathize with every single character in spite of the circumstances in which they find themselves. Mistakes were made, words were regrettably spoken, promises were broken, hearts were devastated, and hope was seemingly lost . . . except for a tiny spark that forgiveness breathed back to life. The air of mystery that ran in between scenes was a clever bonus, utilizing minor characters to perfection. I finished this book loving Lady Charlotte Terrington Holt and Mister Amos Darby even more than I would have if their story had been a simple "happily ever after", rather than a glorious triumph over tragedy .

"Some pain would never go away. Some choices could never be altered. But if they had learned anything from the beauty and brokenness of this world together, it was that light always overshadowed the darkness."
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars
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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