Title: The Bookshop on the Corner
Author: Jenny Colgan
Book Length: 384 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit, Books about Books, Contemporary, Scotland
Read Start Date: November 18, 2022
Read Finish Date: January 26, 2023
Number in Book Series: 1
Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.
Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
My Review: Nina has always had a dream of owning her own bookstore. When she loses her job as a librarian in Birmingham, she heads to the Scottish Highlands to purchase a van that would be perfect to house a mobile bookshop. Nina hits a snag when the gruff seller won’t sell it to her. With the help of the book-starved inhabitants of Kirrinfief, the seller finally relents. The townspeople are disappointed when Nina tells them she doesn’t intend to open her shop in Kirrinfief.
While Nina had originally planned to open the shop in Birmingham, red tape prevents her from doing so. Reluctantly, she returns to Kirrinfief and rents a renovated barn from a stubborn, abrasive, hunky farmer, who goes by the name of Lennox. He is in the midst of a bitter divorce, and is more rude than welcoming. It is obvious, however, that this guy will be the love interest by the end of the book.
Despite her initial hesitance, Nina soon becomes enamored with the Scottish Highlands and its people.
One night, Nina is driving in the van, and she stalls on the train tracks as a train is coming. Luckily, the train stops. She meets Marek, the gorgeous and kind train operator from Latvia (he is living in Birmingham). They soon fall into a romantic exchange –they leave notes and books for each other by hanging them on the tree next to the spot where they first met. The romance is more emotional than physical, as they rarely see each other, and it is ill fated from the start.
By the end though, Nina is where (and with whom) she should be and has her own “happy ever after”.
I started reading this book back in November, 2022, when my daughter was in the hospital with a bad case of bronchitis. I needed something light and fluffy, and this book fit the bill. Jenny Colgan writes with a nice and easy prose that begs the eyes to keep reading. It took me a while to finish it, because recently I’ve only had time to read at bedtime, and I have been trying to read paperbacks before bed (to avoid screens). As I was reading this via the library app Libby on my ipad, I turned to this book only when my mood couldn’t handle the subject matter of the true crime books I’ve been reading.
It is a bit sappy in parts — like how Nina calls her bookshop “The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After” — but overall a good book.
This is a great read for when you are in a bad or sad mood and need something light and uplifting.