I don’t think I’ve read (for lack of a better genre description) Women’s Fiction book in YEARS and I really need to get back into it because I enjoyed a lot about this book.
28-year-old Maggie Banks is your classic millennial struggling with the whole “adulting” thing, so she jumps at the chance to temporarily run her college roommate’s bookstore in Bell River, Maryland while figuring out her next move.
The headstrong Maggie quickly finds herself at odds with the Edward Bell Society–a tyrannical organization that owns all of Bell River’s business. The Bell Society only allows her to stock the classics and books by the town’s famous author Edward Bell. When the Bell Society deems her not good enough to represent Edward Bell’s legacy, they remove his books and take a majority of the store’s profit with them.
Determined to keep her friend’s store profitable, Maggie begins to secretly sell modern books and host undercover events. Along the way she uncovers some of Bell River’s secrets, finds her calling, and falls for a buttoned-up employee of The Bell Society.
I thought this book was an entertaining, engaging, low-stakes read that went down easy. I appreciated that Maggie wasn’t a book person. I feel like when people write books-about-books the characters can be a little too twee and precious about books and this was more nuanced. That said, if you really like classics– this book might ruffle some feathers.
Imani Jade Powers narration is bright and evocative. I found this book because I was listening to audiobook samples on Hoopla (Sourcebooks didn’t market this one at all) and Power’s narration grabbed my attention.
As I was reading, I totally clocked that Shauna Robinson was from the DMV area just by the way she wrote about it. Great to find a new local-ish author!
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.