Book Review: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

What’s it about?

In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.




My thoughts

I bought this book as I usually enjoy books about books.  I’d also noticed that the movie was on Netflix and I wanted to read it before watching.

As a book that had been shortlisted for a top book prize I was expecting something brilliant but this book just didn’t do anything for me.  I understand Penelope Fitzgerald was quite the writer, having been included in a list of the top 50 greatest writers.  Therein lies the problem, as with the 100 books you should read before you die, they don’t suit everybody.

I’m afraid I found it stuffy and dull and my mind would constantly wander.  I also couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to open a bookshop in this village anyway.  The residents were only out for themselves and just plain spiteful – there’s even a poltergeist to contend with!  Florence was up against from day one!

Having said that, there are some funny one-liners but not enough to contrast with the rest which is hard-going, not difficult just tedious.  Such a shame, as I so wanted to love and enjoy it.

Since reading, I’ve heard that the movie’s not much cop either but I’ll definitely still watch it, just to see.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 176
Publisher: Fourth Estate

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

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