Book Review: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Bookshop: Fitzgerald, Penelope, Nicholls, David: 9780544484092: Books

Title: The Bookshop

Author: Penelope Fitzgerald

Genre: Literary Fiction/Classics

Number of Pages: 163

Rating: B-

Recommended?: Yes

I’m not sure I entirely ‘got’ this book. It was well-done but I lacked an emotional connection to the story or the characters. The Bookshop tells the story of Florence Green, a widow with a good head on her shoulders and a dream to open up a bookshop in a small town. The community she sets up shop in is not exactly the most educated or open-minded place in the world, and a rich citizen becomes determined to use the ever-present bureaucracy so Florence doesn’t achieve her goal.

Florence is an admirable character but I never felt like I really got to know her. The writing style was witty at times, but it was also a little bit dry for my taste. It was like the author told instead of showed everything. It lacked naturalism and spontaneity. I did enjoy some of the little asides about how ass-backwards the town was and the matter-of-fact inclusion of ‘rappers,’ or destructive spirits. Overall I was glad I read this book but it isn’t something I would read again.

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