#Book Tour #Book Review – The Bookseller’s Secret; M. Gable

Book tour stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for The Bookseller’s Secret, a historical novel written by Michelle Gable.

First thing first, let me thank Anne and the publisher, Harper Collins, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip* 

MEET THE BOOK

In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.

Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…


400 pages
Historical 
Publication date: 17/08/21
Purchase link

Amazon.com

READ MY REVIEW

Cover: It’s beautiful! Elegant and clean, I love the colors and the details.

The Bookseller’s Secret is a historical novel about the life of Nancy Mitford, writer and bookshop manager back in 1942. We’re in London, the war is raging on, and Nancy seems unable to write any longer. The same thing happens eighty years later to Katie, whose connection to Nancy gets established after she agrees to an impromptu vacation.

Split timeline is the name of the game here: Katie’s contemporary one is counterposed with Nancy’s, and that creates an interesting dichotomy. As one of the notorious Mitford sisters, Nancy is the driving force behind the book, but Katie reads more relatable somehow. I enjoyed Katie’s chapters a whole lot.

Style-wise, I’m pleased to say that The Bookseller’s Secret is dialogue-driven. It’s a good choice on Gable’s part, because it mitigates the slowness of the story itself, balancing it out. Well done! The editing is on point, too.

Other than Nancy and Katie, the book features a big cast of secondary characters. They seem to support the story quite fine, even if their voices are not always unique. I’m sorry to say this, because I liked Simon, Felix, and Jojo a lot; I just feel they would have benefited from a little more nuance.

The only real criticism I could move to The Bookseller’s Secret, though, is about the overuse of exclamation marks and capitalization. They don’t quite fit the genre, as they give out a juvenile feeling that works better on novels targeted to a younger audience.

3,5 stars rounded up to 4.

MEET THE AUTHOR

MICHELLE GABLE is the New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, I’ll See You in Paris, The Book of Summer, and The Summer I Met Jack. She attended The College of William & Mary, where she majored in accounting, and spent twenty years working in finance before becoming a full-time writer. She grew up in San Diego and lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband and two daughters. 

Find her at michellegable.com or on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, @MGableWriter.

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