Debut Novel Series
The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson, Author
364 pages – Contemporary Literature and Fiction
© 2018 Amy Meyerson, Published by ParkRowBooks.com, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Bookshop of Yesterdays – A Debut Novel Review
After seeing my hair stylist for the first time since the pandemic lockdown began months ago, I decided to venture into my first retail establishment, masked, and ready to feel somewhat normal again. Of course, the first store I would want to visit is the bookstore.
Although feeling brave to be among others, albeit attentive to social distancing, I did not want to dawdle as I would have liked to do before the coronavirus took the joy out of meandering the aisles. I went straight to the customer service desk where I found an anxiously, animated store manager who asked, “May I help you?” Yes, I replied. I would like to obtain a list of first authors or debut novels. “I don’t think we have such a list,” he answered as he began to furiously bang the keyboard of his computer. Since this was a national chain bookseller, I suggested perhaps their website would have such a list (I saw it once there before). Still furiously typing, he remarked that even if there was such a list on the website, he was not allowed to print anything off the website. Okay, well thank you for your help, I told him. I proceeded on my own debut novel hunt.
Three tables behind the customer service desk, I hit the jackpot. The book’s title and book cover artwork had me picking it up and flipping to the book jacket’s back page to read, “The Bookshop of Yesterdays is her first novel.” Perfect! I picked up another debut novel and headed straight to the cashier.
As I sat down to read, The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson, I purposely did not read any of the quotes by other authors, the inside of the book jacket or the author’s bio. Reading is an adventure and I did not want anyone’s opinions or story information to give away any of the excitement of my reading journey.
In this reviewer’s opinion, the first 50-100 pages or the first 2-3 chapters of a book must hook me with enough of my own questions and clues to assist me in determining the worth of the book’s characters and the story. The author, Amy Meyerson did not disappoint me. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I read an entire book in one sitting.
A Bookshop of Yesterdays is a story about a young woman, Miranda, who unwittingly is drawn into a scavenger hunt about her life’s story after her uncle Billy dies. If you love scavenger hunts, literature, and Shakespeare, especially The Tempest, then you will thoroughly enjoy taking this reading adventure. I cannot reveal anything further about the book as it would ruin the pure enjoyment of reading Meyerson’s debut novel. Suffice it to say that this book will hit all the emotional highs and lows of Miranda’s story. I admit. I shed a few tears.
The author, Amy Meyerson shares just enough about each character to entice the reader to want to learn more about each one even the minor characters. The only character development disappointments were Miranda’s father, David and the bookseller manager, Malcolm. I had several questions regarding David’s personality that could have been explored. Why didn’t David and Susan have more children? There were glimpses of how David felt about fatherhood and about Miranda, but I was left wanting to know more of his story too.
I had a filmy vision of Malcolm, but I could not “see” his face in the author’s writing. Meyerson alludes to a comparison between Miranda’s boyfriend, Jay and Prospero’s bookseller, Malcolm but never completes Miranda’s attraction to either of these men – perhaps that is precisely the point? The author leaves it up to the reader to make their interpretation.
A good book in this reader’s opinion is that the story and its’ characters leave a lasting impression. I want to think about the characters and the story long after I finish reading the last page. I want to ruminate about the ‘what ifs’ and imagine the ‘what after.’ My lasting impression of The Bookshop of Yesterdays is that is one of the best books I have read this year even among authors with multiple titles on the bookshelf.
Much to my surprise!
After reading the last page of the book and the author’s acknowledgements at the back of the book, Amy Meyerson included questions for discussion. A perfect book for a book club discussion! Another bonus was “A conversation with Amy Meyerson.” Thank you, Amy!
These bonus to my reading adventure with the book, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lesson to book readers when choosing a book. Just open the book and start your reading adventure from page 1.
The Bookshop of Yesterdays is an outstanding debut novel and I highly recommend it. I am looking forward to reading more novels by Amy Meyerson. What a great way to begin the #TheBloggingOwlHootsBooks Debut Novel series!
**When buying this book or others, please support your local independent bookseller whenever possible.
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