Review By Veronica

The British Booksellers is a beautiful and breathtaking novel.

Favourite Quote:

“Books are an escape that beckons the reader from the heavy burdens of this world. Isn’t that what you told me once? They can challenge as well as comfort. Entertain and educate. Even save us in ways we’d never expect.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

A tenant farmer’s son had no business daring to dream of a future with an earl’s daughter, but that couldn’t keep Amos Darby from his secret friendship with Charlotte Terrington…until the reality of the Great War sobered youthful dreams. Now decades later, he bears the brutal scars of battles fought in the trenches and their futures that were stolen away. His return home doesn’t come with tender reunions, but with the hollow fulfillment of opening a bookshop on his own and retreating as a recluse within its walls.

When the future Earl of Harcourt chose Charlotte to be his wife, she knew she was destined for a loveless match. Though her heart had chosen another long ago, she pledges her future even as her husband goes to war. Twenty-five years later, Charlotte remains a war widow who divides her days between her late husband’s declining estate and operating a quaint Coventry bookshop—Eden Books, lovingly named after her grown daughter. And Amos is nothing more than the rival bookseller across the lane.

As war with Hitler looms, Eden is determined to preserve her father’s legacy. So when an American solicitor arrives threatening a lawsuit that could destroy everything they’ve worked so hard to preserve, mother and daughter prepare to fight back. But with devastation wrought by the Luftwaffe’s local blitz terrorizing the skies, battling bookshops—and lost loves, Amos and Charlotte—must put aside their differences and fight together to help Coventry survive.

I love a good historical fiction novel, and this book was everything that I could have ever hoped it would be. For me, a sign that a book is a great historical fiction story is when it has you feeling those big, glorious emotions, and this book did that for me. I found myself near tears at times; other times, I was at the edge of my seat, and then there were times when my heart fell in love with the love story Kristy had created. This is a dual-timeline story, and I loved how both timelines unfolded in a manner that complemented each other. One timeline is set during the Great War (1914), and the other is set during World War II (1940). I loved weaving between these two timelines. It made for a great reading experience. We get to spend time in Coventry, a town that was devastated by the bombing that took place during Blitzkrieg. Spending time in this town as all the bombings were destroying it was a heart-wrenching experience. Kristy did a wonderful job at researching these tragic events and bringing these historical facts into her story. 

Kristy is really a master at creating a story that is sure to take her readers on an unforgettable journey. There is something so beautiful and powerful about her writing. As a bookworm, I loved the bookish theme in this story. Amos and Charlotte’s love for books leaps from the pages. There is also this wonderful message of how powerful books are. Books can be an escape from the horrors that are happening in the world, or they can be a comfort for those who need them. Amos and Charlotte have both lost so much because of the wars, but their love for books remains. This story has so much to offer its readers: romance, friendship, secrets, second chances, mystery, and a bit of intrigue. We get to see how women’s roles in society have changed over the course of both Wars and even how the class system changed in Britain.

Overall, this is a wonderful story that is sure to draw its readers in and not let them go until the very end.

Thank you, Thomas Nelson, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.