Book Review: The Book Lover by Maryann McFadden

May 24, 2012 book review 2

This is the story of two women, Ruth, in her mid 60’s and the owner of a small town independent book store, and Lucy, in her late 30’s a novelist who has had her fill of rejection letters and has now self published her book.  The two women are separated by thousands of miles and yet when Lucy’s book arrives in a small box to Ruth’s book store, The Book Lover, Ruth adores the book, shares it with her co-workers and decides she wants to sell it in the store.  Ruth contacts Lucy to also arrange a book signing and talk, and for more information on how to order the book.This is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and a deeper look into the lives of two women passionate about books.

Lucy’s marriage is on the rocks, she can no longer trust her husband and she sets off on the road to hand sell her book to book stores.  She’s embarrassed when she goes to large stores and is almost laughed at, and she finds smaller independent stores are warmer.  She shows up at Ruth’s store, The Book Lover, a week early for her signing, and realizes she is completely confused.  Ruth takes Lucy in for the night, and later suggests she stay in her lake house, an empty little house perfect for a refuge.

Ruth is a widow with a grown children and a brother who live near her.  She owns her book store and loves serving her small town.  Her business is struggling, we learn about her stresses of sales and staffing and yet still meeting the needs of her community.  Ruth also volunteers by reaching out to prisoners and helping them to find books they will enjoy and by leading a book group.  Ruth has met a man, and their feelings for each other are beginning to go beyond friendship.

In many ways Ruth and Lucy are very much alike.  Together they seem to be at a crossroads and they help each other in many ways to find paths that are right for each of them.

I liked this book, the characters and the story. As an avid reader I’m aware of the struggles new authors have in finding an agent and a publisher, it’s daunting and I imagine the rejections can bring a writer down.  The struggle of the indie bookseller is also an often heard story.  I live near Orlando, where there are really no indie book stores, a sad reality.

I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars, I liked it, but it moved a bit slow for me at times.  It’s really a great story, and I hope you’ll give it a read. 

Thanks go out to Maryann McFadden and Three Women Press for providing me with a copy of this book.  This in no way influenced my review.  

2 Responses to “Book Review: The Book Lover by Maryann McFadden”

  1. Zibilee

    I am really eager to read this one, as I also know how hard it is for authors who self-publish. I think the story sounds intimate and very moving, and I am glad that you liked it for the most part. Excellent review, Anita! I need to add this one to my list!

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