I was recently asked if I would like to read a book that is set in the U.K. and there’s a bookstore involved which I couldn’t pass up because it’s always a fascinating combination to read about.
Before I give you my thoughts on the book, I would like to mention that I was given a digital ARC via Netgalley through the publisher but it doesn’t influence my thoughts on the book itself.
This is the story of a young woman named Kate who has grown up in a small run down town called Bermondsey, at the mercy of her cruel Aunt Sylvie and cousins who have done their best to make her life miserable and treated her as a proverbial physical and emotional punching bag.
Her Aunt forces her to get a job at the young age of fourteen and takes most of her wages, leaving an amount left that she couldn’t survive on if she were to attempt to get her own place. A few years later, she is still working at the same place, though has received a bit of a raise. When her cousin said something cruel about her mother who died tragically, she responds back by walloping her a good one and then her Aunt proceeds to stab her with a knife. Shortly after being bandaged up, her Aunt essentially throws her out with barely the clothes on her back and Kate is left scrambling to figure out where to live.
Kate has learned a thing or two while being under the rule of her Aunt and one of those is that she knows she’s tough and will find a way to survive even if she has to take multiple jobs. When she happens to land a job at the Bermondsey Bookshop for cleaning, she has no idea at the time of just how much it will change her life and how it just may set her on the path that she’s always dreamed of.
She may even have a chance to be reunited with the Father that has been absent a good chunk of her life though her Father isn’t quite the loving person that he would have many people believe and there could be a darker meaning behind much of his actions.
This story was quite the adventure and my heart ached for Kate who has been through so much and yet continues to get up to carry on no matter how often she gets knocked down. Life has been far from easy for her but she’s determined to make her way in the world and along the way she could very likely meet the love of her life as well as become friends with unexpected people.
I really enjoyed reading about Kate’s determination and how she really is a sweetheart who’s had some tough hurtles to overcome but hasn’t let that turn her bitter or into a mean person. She shows quite the growth throughout the story and finds herself caught between two different worlds. She didn’t graduate but that doesn’t take away from what a smart young woman she is and is talented in a number of different ways.
This is a book I highly recommend particularly if you’re one that enjoys a story set in the early to mid-1920s, has a bookstore in it and shows just how powerful friendship can be. I really hope that there will be a sequel to this book at some point!
Please be aware of possible trigger warnings for death of parents, alcoholism, domestic abuse, child abuse and other forms of violence.
Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I hope you’ve found my views interesting and if any of the themes above interest you, please feel free to check out the book which has only recently been released. I will be back shortly with more bookish thoughts and I hope you’re having a wonderful week!
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