Friday 26 November 2021

Book Review: The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable

The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable book blog tour poster

AD* | In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.

Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy but an even more surprising link between the past and present...

The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable book cover

The Bookseller's Secret is a delightful dual-timeline novel. It's split between present-day and WW2 London; effortlessly combining fact with fiction to create an engaging tale. 

The plot is centred around London's Heywood Hill bookshop, where Nancy Mitford worked during WW2. Many years later, the present-day portion of the book focuses on Katie Cabot, an American writer visiting the bookshop while staying with a friend in the city. 

The story leads down a rabbit hole as Katie goes in search of Nancy Mitford's lost memoir. The hunt for the missing manuscript leads her to explore her own life and question her own writing as she delves deeper into Nancy's wartime experience.

At its heart, this is as much a love letter to books and writing as it is a story about Nancy Mitford. You can't help but draw parallels between Nancy and Katie; both are writers searching for inspiration and dreaming of writing a bestseller. They are also both strong, independent women who aren't afraid to follow their dreams. 

The incredible amount of research that must have gone into this novel is clear as the author's passion shines through on every page. Nancy's iconic voice leaps out, both from her own letters, but also from the imagined dialogue that sparkles with her unmistakable wit.

If you love books about books, look no further! 

The Bookseller's Secret is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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