📚 The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II by Madeline Martin ⁠


⁠💣 It’s August 1939 and, while the world is getting ready for the war, Grace Bennett moves to London with her friend Viv. They’ve always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains were not what they expected. Also, Grace did not expect to end up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop. After all, she didn’t even like reading! ⁠
Through blackouts and air raids, though, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to triumph over the darkest nights of the war.⁠

❤️ I liked:⁠
👧 The journey of Grace. It’s the first time I read a book about books where the main character doesn’t like reading. And I loved to see Grace’s growth and journey from having never embraced books to seek refuge in Jane Austen during the worst nights of the war.⁠
✍️ The power of storytelling. Grace is generous and tenacious, and, in a way or in another, she manages to unite the community. She helps out all the booksellers that lost their shops during the bombings and reads books inside the local tube station during air raids to help people not to lose their hope. ⁠
💕 A hint of romance, just a hint. In the beginning, I thought George would be more present, but his only function is to introduce Grace to the world of reading, giving her his copy of The Count of Montecristo. ⁠
😓 Loss and pain. I also really appreciated that this book doesn’t spare the reader. We see Grace losing people she loves and witnessing the worse that WW2 could offer during her work with the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) warden, a job many deem unsuitable for a woman. It felt real and not too sugarcoated. ⁠

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5 I simply can’t recommend it enough. It was a great read! If you love historical fiction and books about books, you should give this a try!⁠

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