The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
“There are times when you are more aware of being alive, aware that living is painful, not because it is terrible but because it is wonderful.”
Esme Garland is a bright innovative young woman who moves across the ocean to Manhattan after receiving a prestigious scholarship to complete her doctorate at Columbia University. She acclimates to the big apple relatively well, until Mitchell van Leuven walks into her life. Armed with the bluest New York blood you could find, Mitchell enchants her with his good looks and erotic fantasies—until everything changes. With Mitchell’s indecisive nature running its course, a small test ends with two little blue lines changing every plan Esme had for her life. Before Esme can even share her good news, Mitchell declares their love life unexciting and ends their relationship (If you could even call it that.)
Strong minded Esme won’t give up so easily. She plans on conquering diapers and pregnancy all while working towards her goal of finishing her education. To help with money, Esme gets a job at a small West side bookstore, loving the atmosphere and quaintness that the store and its inhabitants provide. There’s George, the eccentric bookstore owner, Luke the ambiguous guitar player, and a handful of other colorful customers.
Esme grows close to those at the bookstore, using it as a place to escape from the pressures of Columbia’s prestigious halls as well as an escape from the child growing in her belly. Without warning, Mitchell changes his mind and promises Esme and the baby a lifetime of love and happiness. Esme has been waiting for Mitchell to wake up and profess his undying love to her, but his promises seem empty. Unsure if giving him a second chance is her best option, Esme weighs her options, hoping she won’t lose everything in the process.
I started this book several months ago, but I couldn’t get into it. Just goes to show my old adage that the right books happen at the right time. I really enjoyed this book. I’m currently writing my own book that centers around a bookstore and I found it really helpful, not only for my own writing purposes, but also an interesting look at a secondhand bookstore. The characters were fantastically written, but there were moments where the writing dragged for a few lines and then pick up again. Mitchell drove me insane, which was his clear purpose. He was an ass and I disliked him from the get go, but he was imperative to the plot and I prayed that Esme would see sense. It did become bothersome that Esme was so blinded by her love for him, that she couldn’t see what an awful decision it was to be with Mitchell. He was so self-centered and only wanted to do things he wanted to do. Their relationship was never about her happiness, rather about he felt and what he wanted. I was over him pretty quickly. I’m definitely looking forward to other Meyler novels.