Staff Review: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Reviewed by Simone

A book with this title is hard to resist for someone who works in a bookstore, but you never know whether the story is really to your liking. This debut novel by Deborah Meyler, however, was a pleasant surprise to me.

Esme is a young woman, who finds a job in a bookstore after she discovers she is pregnant from Mitchell, her on-again off-again relationship. The bookstore offers her a surrogate home during these turbulent times.

When Esme finds herself pregnant, she is still studying and getting to grips with growing up. Mitchell is an unpredictable character, and when she sets him down to inform him of the pregnancy, he jumps in before she can say it, and breaks up with her. Devastated, she starts looking for a job in order to support herself, and makes inquiries at her favorite bookstore, the Owl. They welcome her there with open arms, amidst odd customers, thieves and a quirky staff.

The narrator’s voice, Esme, is a charming one, that reminds me somewhat of characters from a Lorrie Moore novel. Further on in the story, when Mitchell has come around and brings her along to his family’s estate to meet his parents, I enjoyed a dose of Bridget Jones-like situations. From the start of the book to the end, a very attractive character takes you along with her journey in life, and makes you laugh and feel sympathy for her and her decisions.

All in all, The Bookstore is a great book and a wonderful story in a fascinating setting!