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The title and blurb may lead a reader to think that this book will be about a downsized librarian starting over with a mobile bookstore, which does begin the story. Throughout, however, there is the sense that, for a literary exploration, or for women's fiction, or even a slice-of-life meditation on bibliophilia as a coping tool, something is always off: too melodramatic, too one-dimensional, too contrived, too histrionic. And then, three fourths of the way through the book, the reader realizes that this book is a formulaic "romance": staged misunderstandings, obsessive insecurities, noncommittal sex, and all. The descriptions of the Scottish Highlands are vivid and invigorating, and the book recommendations for certain problems and character types are thought-provoking or just laugh-out-loud fun. But the main character's blithe disregard for other people's feelings, safety, privacy, emotional needs, and vulnerabilities may wear on a reader who doesn't realize all this occasionally aggravating plot is going to be about will be learning to bond through sex. This may be a very good read for romance fans. Unfortunately, I went from loving the narrator's handling of each voice (except the protagonist's) and sharing the excitement about starting over with a bookstore of withdrawn books to hating the thought of slogging through one more minute of the main character's sexual forays and whining self-centeredness.
66 of 70 people found this review helpful
It's slow in the beginning as the characters are introduced and timid, sweet Nina is overshadowed by the others. After Chapter 5, it picks up as it follows Nina on her journey in finding meaning for others through books and finding where she belongs in the world. This book would be a good languid, summer read.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful