Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend; her future couldn’t look brighter. Until she finds out that she’s pregnant.
Esme’s boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme—just before she tries to tell him about the baby—she resolves to manage alone. She will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa.
The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters: handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene?
A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them, The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.
Review: I was so looking forward to this book. It has all my favourite elements,bit is about books and a bookstore it is set in New York, it's about a girl in her twenties and I was actually really really disappointed and struggled to finish it. To begin with I was really enjoying reading this,in enjoyed finding out about Esme and her life. I loved the fact that she had come over to New York to carry on with her studies (an incredibly jealous of her) I loved the fact that she had her own apartment and was an independent women. To begin with, when she goes to tell horrible boyfriend Mitchell that she is pregnant and then he dumps her, it has all the good makings of a great chick lit novel, but then things begin to go downhill.
The books really slows down from this point onwards and the storyline itself becomes a bit dull. Esme turns into a indecisive character and some of the decisions that she does make really show her age, she seems incapable of thinking what is best for her and for her unborn child, she thinks instead about what other people think and what's going to make her look better to them. The storyline seemed to change entirely and not much really happened of note. There is a point where it seems she must move, Mitchell comes and goes from the pictures and she works in the owl chatting to people there but not much else had me wanting to read on.
The characters that come in a out of the Owl provide the most entertainment in the book, they are whacky and they are individuals, I thought this was really cool, but so much more could have been done with them. Store owner George and other shop assistant Luke really do have a heart of go,d and this is really lovely to read but I wanted to find out more about them and their personal lives and how the fitted into Esme's life.
Overall this was a bit of a struggle to finish, there seemed to be no concept of time in the book and I didn't find myself wanting to know what happened at all really. The ending was a it of a let down too, I expected more to be resolved but things seemed to be left pretty much up in the air, and I didn't feel like I was any further to knowing what was going to happen wit Esme than when I started the book. Normally there are things I am able to find in a book that other people will find entertaining but the only saving grace was the wonderful New York setting so I wouldn't confidently recommend this book to anyone-sorry!
To grab a copy and see for yourself click here