About the Book
Book: The Printed Letter Bookshop
Author: Katherine Reay
Genre: Women’s fiction, romance
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Amid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one’s journey with best friends makes life richer.
When attorney Madeline Carter inherits her aunt’s bookstore in a small town north of Chicago, she plans to sell it and add the proceeds to her nonexistent “investment portfolio.” But plans change when Madeline discovers the store isn’t making money and she gets passed over for promotion at her firm. She quits in protest, takes the train north, and decides to work at the store to prep it for sale. Madeline soon finds herself at odds with employees Jessica and Courtney; when she also finds herself attracted to an affianced man, it only confuses the entire situation.
After blowing up her marriage two years earlier, Jessica has found solace working at the bookstore and a kindred spirit within its owner, Maddie Cullen. But when Maddie dies and her niece, Madeline, barges in like a bulldozer, Jessica pushes at the new owner in every way-until she trips over common ground. Soon the women are delving into online dating and fashion makeovers, and Jessica feels the pull to rediscover her art, a love she thought long behind her.
After a night of bad decisions leaves the store in peril, Courtney arrives and tries to save the day. While she, too, found sanctuary in the little bookstore, she knows it’s under-insured, in the red, and will never survive. When she discovers her teenage daughter has played a part in vandalizing the store, Courtney taps into strength she didn’t know existed-or had long forgotten. The quietest of the three, she steps up and finds a way to save her family, the store, and the precious friendships that have grown within it.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is the story of friends who find each other-and themselves-in a place none of them ever expected.
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About the Author
Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and is a wife, mother, former marketer, and an avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL.
More From Katherine
Don’t you love bookshops?
Every time I walk into a bookstore, it feels like a rainbow cracked open and rained a kaleidoscope of light, life, and possibilities before me. I find worlds within the world and a call to adventure.
Each bookshop tells a different story. It tells of its loyal beloved customer base. It reflects the personality of its owner and staff. It carries the aura of the stories it offers to us.
And it was the perfect place to dig into lives, hearts and book loves of Janet, Claire, and Madeline. These three women, at different stages in life, meet at the Printed Letter Bookshop, with all the romance and wonder it holds, and learn to work through their challenges together. They become the friends that each didn’t know she was missing.
There is also a fourth woman I loved spending time within the Printed Letter Bookshop — its original owner, Maddie Carter. Maddie doesn’t step onto the stage even once, but her presence, her love, and her guiding hand are apparent from page one as Janet, Claire, and Madeline grow in friendship and in faith.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a love letter to books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship. I hope you savor your time with these three women — And, book lovers rejoice, there is a list of all the books they allude to in the back of the book!
The Printed Letter Bookshop is my very first read of a Katherine Reay novel and I am blown away, so much so I bawled in my kitchen like a baby when I read the final word on the last page. This novel was the cathartic read I didn’t even know I needed. The characters in The Printed Letter Bookshop are wonderfully crafted. This is a story about dynamic women living life as honestly and honorably as they can. I also appreciate the real-life issues tackled in this story. Reay does so in an honorable and truthful manner that forces the reader to look into her own heart. There’s no sugar-coating or sweeping things under the rug in this story, which I found to be so refreshing. Truly, The Printed Letter Bookshop is a phenomenal novel.
In this story, Claire (one of three main characters) is a married woman and mother to two teenagers. She has reached what I like to call the “beige period” in her life. Her marriage isn’t bad, but it’s not really a marriage. It’s more like two people living together. Her teenaged kids don’t really need her, but they sure love to take advantage of her cooking and laundry skills. Add a sudden change in her daughter’s behavior, and Claire isn’t sure she knows who her kids are anymore. And, with all the moving her husband’s job has forced on them throughout the years, Claire doesn’t feel like she can fit into a community. Why make friends and set roots when you’re likely to leave? Oh, and she’s soundly hit middle age where gravity has taken her body and emotions down. “Beige period” describes Claire perfectly. The problem is how does Claire get out of this “blah” time in her life?
The answer to Claire’s problems is she needs to act out LOVE. Instead of waiting for life to make decisions for her, Claire needs to ACT in LOVE. At one point in the novel, Claire ruminates on a quote from The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky: Love in action is a hard and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams. What a fantastic truth! Love is hard work. Love is NOT the stuff of dreams. Claire had a dream of love and life and then waited for the world to give that dream to her. She got the husband, but why is their relationship so cool? She got the kids, but why are they so self-centered, rude, and hard to reach? She’s surrounded by community, but why doesn’t anyone want to be her best friend? Because Claire loved the idea of love but didn’t realize the amount of work love takes. I dreamed of fairy-tale love but had absolutely no idea I would have to die-to-self daily once I got it. Let me give you one example. When I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter, I made a plan — a birth plan, a sound discipline plan, and a solid sleep schedule for my daughter. I swear I believed I would have my kid potty trained at 18 months. I WAS SO DUMB!!! You see, my “plans” were not born out of love. They were born out of selfishness. I made these plans not to better my daughter’s life, but to better my own. My plans were the stuff of dreams. I would set my plan into action and love would naturally follow. What I learned with the birth of my daughter is that love, real love, takes real action every single second of every single day. Claire realizes this too in the novel. If she wants her marriage to be solid, she needs to work. If she wants a close relationship with her children, she needs to work. Claire wants a better body, she needs to work. And if she wants a best friend, she needs to work. Love for others and for herself requires action every single day! This is my favorite lesson in The Printed Letter Bookshop — a lesson I needed to hear again.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a beautiful story that touched my heart deeply. I loved and appreciated the sense of female solidarity that permeates the narrative, I enjoyed heartily the ability to participate in the unique journeys of three amazing women, and am grateful for the reminder that love is an action verb. The Printed Letter Bookshop is a story I will not soon forget, and one I highly recommend.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a paperback copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to one lucky winner!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click the link below to enter.
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Maureen’s Musings, May 16
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Emily Yager, May 18
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Retrospective Spines, May 19
Girls Living For God’s Glory, May 20
As He Leads is Joy, May 20
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All-Of-a-kind Mom, May 21
Through the Fire Blogs, May 21
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Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 22
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