The Book Shop

Penelope Fitzgerald (1978)

A “veddy” British little novel about a woman who decides to open a bookshop in her small seaside town, only to learn the hard way that it was never a welcome idea.  Good sense of place and character, but depressing throughout–kind of permeated the story, like the dampness in the old house turned into a bookshop.

Interesting to compare this book with 84 Charing Cross Road. While the central location of each is a bookshop, 84 is infused with a real love of books; in Bookshop, books are merely a commodity.  You never get a sense that the main character enjoys books or even reads them.

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