The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
ISBN: 9780785222002 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780785222019 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780785222033 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07DT45N19 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.
While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.
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Madeline Cullen is an only child. She’s currently working as a lawyer for a firm in Chicago and vying for partnership. She has fond memories of her namesake aunt, her father’s sister, but also recalls a family schism that occurred during her early teens. She always thought that her aunt and her husband blamed her father for the loss of monies during the tech market crash 20 years ago. Loyalty to her parents meant that after her father severed ties to his sister, Madeline also severed ties with her beloved aunt. Over the past few years, it didn’t matter that she was less than 50 miles away from her aunt, she always found some excuse to postpone a visit. Her aunt had even called her a few months before her death and Madeleine once again put her off. Sadly, her aunt’s death means no chance of repairing this familial relationship. On top of losing her aunt, Madeline is informed that she hasn’t been chosen for partnership at her law firm. Unsure of what to do with her life, Madeline grabs hold of the lifeline left to her by her aunt and takes over the ownership of The Printed Letter Bookshop miles away in Winsome. Little does Madeline know that ownership of a bookstore will come with a huge learning curve, built-in friends (if she’s only willing to accept their offers of friendship), and the possibility of a new start in life. Just when things are heading in the right direction, store sales are up, Madeline is getting along well with Janet and Claire – the two store employees, and she’s begun to date, she’s hit with a massive blow and this is one loss neither she nor the store may recover from.
I’ve always enjoyed reading books written by Katherine Reay and The Printed Letter Bookshop was no different. Okay, it was a little different. First, I read this book in one afternoon while sitting with my elderly mother. I read it cover to cover in less than five hours. I could not put it down. Second, I enjoyed all of the characters, the settings, the storyline, the action…basically, I enjoyed everything about this story! I enjoyed the complexity of each character, Madeline, Janet, Claire, Claire’s daughter Brittany, Chris, and Drew, and the struggles they face. I even enjoyed discovering more about Madeline’s deceased aunt Maddy (we learn a lot about her throughout the story from the viewpoint of various characters). I was initially intrigued about this story because it featured a bookstore, pardon me, a bookshop. But The Printed Letter Bookshop is much more than story about a bookshop, it’s about second chances, relationships, family, forgiveness, friendships, and being true to one’s self. It’s also about faith in one’s self, family, friendships, relationships, and learning to live in the present rather than wallow in the past. The Printed Letter Bookshop was a story that filled me with emotions as a read it, because I could empathize with all of the characters as well as the struggles and choices they faced. The Printed Letter Bookshop isn’t Women’s fiction, although it does have some aspects of Women’s fiction. It isn’t just Inspirational fiction although it includes an inspirational message. This story isn’t just a romance, but it does include romance. I don’t want to classify The Printed Letter Bookshop because I feel any classification other than contemporary fiction would be too limiting. I can say this, if you’re looking for a well-written story with realistic and well-developed characters dealing with realistic issues then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop. If you’ve read anything by Ms. Reay in the past, then you probably already have The Printed Letter Bookshop on your TBR list. The Printed Letter Bookshop is going on my must read list for this year. I’ll be recommending it to all of my local fiction book groups with hopes that at least one of them will choose it so I can reread it. (Yeah, you already know I’m going to reread it whether a bookgroup chooses to read it or not. And yes, it is just that good! 😉)