“…fiction conveyed change and truth and was loved and digested again and again because it reflected the worst, the best, and all the moments in between of the human experience.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else. As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change. Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.
Feelings: I picked this book up during a stress-filled, exhausting week, so my reading was pretty slow going. One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was its many references to classic British literature. It made me want to immediately pick up Jane Eyre or North and South and book a literary tour of England. There were so many plot points that reminded me of these classic stories, but with a modern twist which was fun to experience.
Issues: When I finally had time and energy, I read the last 100 pages in one sitting because by this point, I was actually invested in these characters. The first couple hundred pages kind of dragged on; we kept bringing up the same issues and mulling over the same mistakes (and making them again). I was so ready to move on from the rut we were in.
Characters: What a great duo we had in Lucy and Helen. The level on which they understood each other was nice to read. I loved their honesty and frank words towards each other, drawing out truths and facing their fears. At the end, though, it kind of felt like their relationship fell apart because they were home again. It didn’t completely fall apart, but they were no longer confidants. (Or in the words of Anne of Green Gables, “bosom friends.”)
Sid and Lucy’s relationship was sweet and familial. You can tell pretty early on how they depend on each other, not just in business, but in life. The ending for them was very realistic and points towards a lot of growth in the fictional future.
I really didn’t like James through the entire middle section of the book. I couldn’t understand him or his attitude and by the time I gave up on him, he was back and he was redeemable all of a sudden. In the end, he was an ok character, but I just didn’t really care anything about him. He’s not my favorite love interest.
Final thoughts: This book was ok. It’s not one that I’ll circle back to later for a second read or quote or anything like that. It was just ok. If you love classic literature, then I’d recommend this book. You may understand some of the references I didn’t and enjoy the setting!
Pick this up if you liked:
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
Goodreads rating: 3.54/5
Amazon.com rating: 4/5
My rating: 3/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn