In this charmer of a story, Nightingale Books is in many ways the main character. A beloved if slightly rundown shop run by Julius Nightingale, it is a central meeting place in the British village of Peasebrook. Gossip is exchanged, tea is consumed, and occasionally, books are purchased. When Julius succumbs to cancer, his adult daughter, Emilia, inherits the business.
Julius had impeccable taste in literature, but his bookkeeping left much to be desired. Emilia is left to figure out whether she can keep the store afloat—or if she should sell the property to an eager real estate investor and flee her grief. Even as she grapples with this decision to stay or go, it’s complicated by her deepening friendships with some of the bookshop regulars: the shy but sweet chef Thomasina; the brilliant and bored housewife Bea; and the wealthy lady of the manor, Sarah, who has a secret connection to Julius. There’s also Emilia’s growing attraction to Marlowe, a violinist in the Peasebrook Quartet, of which Julius had been a member.
It truly takes a village for Emilia to untangle her finances, create a publicity campaign to bring in new customers and design a physical makeover that dusts off Nightingale Books but stays true to its history. As she slowly develops a plan to give the shop a new life, Emilia finds her own life in the process.
Veronica Henry is an award-winning romance novelist in her native United Kingdom. In How to Find Love in a Bookshop, her first novel to be released in the U.S., she takes the best of romance novels—the dashing figures, the complicated love triangles—and smartly ditches the clichéd sex scenes and overwrought dialogue. The book is reminiscent of the very best Maeve Binchy novels. It’s an enchanting story about the power of community—and books—to help heal a broken heart.