Posted 20 hours ago

Found in a Bookshop: The perfect Autumn read - heart-warming and unforgettable

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The book touched my heart, but it was a difficult read as the pandemic and lockdowns seem so recent and perhaps it provoked some panicky memories of which I didn’t realise I had until I read this book. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice.

Overall this is an intelligent, refreshing and heart warming book that I adored, and would recommend to everyone who reads - so that's all of you! I suppose it’s ironic that I read this on my Kindle, since the emphasis is very much on reading real books - mostly second-hand, previously loved, with the different smells and feelings associated with different styles of book. There are lots of excellent book recommendations scattered around in there too - frankly, loads and my to be read list has increased greatly, which is always a bonus. As certain as I have always been that I can be alone without being lonely, opening the covers, turning the pages, I know that I will find comfort in reading a book. While the world around us changes rapidly, the emotions remain the same: fear, loneliness, and a longing for connection.

I will say that I really enjoyed the characters, both major and minor, they were well rounded and had great little stories all of their own. I work in the library and read over 100 books a year in various genres but still would not be so presumptuous as to think I could recommend books to people I don’t know. It gives the reader total immersion into the world, but makes it quite difficult to describe what happens. Now she is happier, healthier, and more careful with her precious life and the precious people and things in it.

Though at times this was a bit real and hard to read about Covid pandemic times again, this was such a gorgeous read. I adored this novel but I cautiously recommend it, as I am aware that the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing and a novel about it may be triggering for some people.However, the story thread of Rosemary and George as well as Loveday, Kelly and Maddison is weaved through the book as the main story arc. Wasn’t sure how I’d go delving into the pandemic… yet it was a joy to read, as are all of Stephanie Butland’s magical books. I absolutely loved the first book and was never expecting a follow up when I listened to it in 2018. Everything Stephanie Butland wrote about about that period was so relatable, even though the story was set in York - thank you. However, there is enough references to understand the main characters in this novel and what had happened previously.

The most prominent of these being the story of Rosemary and George’s enduring relationship, told through a series of flashbacks throughout the book. The novel encourages us to remember that sometimes, to move forward, there are goodbyes, and many are goodbyes that we never want to say. I rarely get emotional reading but this book is so beautifully poignant and touching, speaking if a time when the world stopped, how we all feared how it would end and did the best we could for ourselves and those we love, a gentle hug of a story. Stephanie lives near the sea in the north-east of England, with her husband Alan and Harris the greyhound.I would recommend this if you like issue-laden contemporary women’s fiction and don’t mind a large number of book recommendations. All of those things are legitimate realities, but they felt a little more tossed in there than part of the story itself.

But it worked very well as a flight book - it’s an engaging story with people who got under my skin. All in all, I enjoyed the book and look forward to exploring the reading suggestions at the back of the book. By participating in the Kindle App Challenge this first Qtr, I completed 3 books for the month of January. I also loved the chapters that were interspersed from the author to the reader - very wise words in those too! My only negative is that it is perhaps a bit repetitive with the letters and the book lists as my enjoyment lies in the characters that you follow through.It could have felt a bit contrived, as so many books are listed and recommended, but somehow it works. The author provides the list of recommended books and "Questions for Book-sharers" at the end of the novel.

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