I bought this book two years ago at Barnes & Noble. The reason I picked it up is I needed one more book in order to qualify to get a cool bag. What? I did. The cover grabbed me and I thought it was going to be a perfect fit.
Gahhhhh I judged a book by its cover… of books. Remind me not to do that again.
Great Cover; Mystery Content
Many of my friends ADORED this book. I thought I would too: the premise necessitated its setting at a bookstore. In this case, however, the bookstore was the mystery, not the answer. I had trouble relating to a bookshop being a source of frustration as painted in the story.
Miranda Brooks returns to Los Angeles to find out some answers to a family mystery. This book navigates her relationship with her uncle, her parents, and her uncle’s friends, as well as a boyfriend she temporarily left behind “back east.” As she finds out who she is in the middle of her family, she begins to question the trajectory of her life.
I typically love stories like these: a protagonist discovers her family is less vanilla than she thought; new relationships grow; returning home makes her question her memories, etc. But in this case, I found the mystery to draw out too long!
Are We Hiking or Traipsing?
“But Wendy!” you say. “A book about a bookshop can never be too long!” “Sacrilege!”
I guess I had trouble remembering while I was reading, that there was a mystery, when out of nowhere Miranda would get another clue. And we’d be back on that trail again.
The story is built, I suppose, like a meander through bookshelves, a casual browse with openness to distraction. Yet with an important dinner date lingering in the back of your mind, that you just *might* forget about if you browse for too long: the answer to her uncle’s mystery, don’t forget! I was annoyed, I guess, that browsing through the story, I’d forget about the important date and all of a sudden it would reappear, almost like an unwelcome text reminder.
But for sure, you will enjoy the setting throughout Los Angeles, the references to the differences “back east,” blooming and fading romances, stopping in for a coffee at the mysterious bookshop, and getting to know the peripheral characters, wondering if they will become a stop on the mystery map.
There’s no doubt this book has a special charm; it just wasn’t charming enough for me.
Friend, read this book and tell me what you thought!
You can get yours here: https://amzn.to/3aS42DY
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. #ad