The Bookshop

  • by Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by Donada Peters
  • 3 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop, the only bookshop, in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors' lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence's warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn't always a town that wants one.


What the Critics Say

"A little gem." (The New York Times Book Review)
"This is not just a gallery of quirky still lives; these people appear in vignettes, wryly, even comically animated....On any reckoning, a marvelously piercing fiction." (Times Literary Supplement)
"Pitch-perfect in every tone, note, and detail: unflinching, humane, and wonderful." (Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


JUst buy this GEM of a book and lets hope that there will be more as audio in the future of her work.....all books a treasures.Enjoy
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- Teddy

Small book about small town with narrow horizons

What made the experience of listening to The Bookshop the most enjoyable?

This book did not have the expected ending, where things get wound up and a kind of justice is established for the bookshop and its owner. The novel unfolds more as life does, disappointing us on many levels, but we manage. An absorbing story, yet without any shattering events. A town is created that might exist, although we book-lovers hope it does not. Highlights the little life-changing setbacks of characters in its landscape, and the small tragedies that are depressing on the whole, while the current of life in the town does go onward into the future--but a less life-affirming future--without the bookstore and its plucky owner.

What does Donada Peters bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Lively and clear voice; most enjoyable to listen to, and does dialect well.

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- Happy Helena

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2004
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company