The Bookshop on the Shore

The Bookshop on the Shore

A Novel

Large Print - 2019 | Large print edition
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A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by Jenny Colgan, author of 'The Bookshop on the Corner'.
Publisher: New York, NY :, HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2019]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062912374
Branch Call Number: LP FIC COL
Characteristics: 606 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print.,rda


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Feb 13, 2020

In choosing this book I was purposefully venturing out of my comfort zone a little, and I assumed two main things about the story when that turned out to be wrong: first, that it would be an actual bookshop on an actual shore somewhere. It was not. Second, that it would be a “chick flick” book, lighthearted, feminine, relatively superficial, a lot of romance. I was also wrong about that. There was not very much romance at all, and the bookish part of why it appealed to me only showed up in the presence of a mobile book van and several small conversations throughout the story about books and bookselling in general, and even fewer conversations about any specific books, most of which were invented by the author.

This book is about a single mom (Zoe) struggling to figure out what role her beloved 4-year old’s father will play in their life, and how she’s going to pay the bills without being able to rely on him. She gets two jobs to get by, one filling in for the owner of a mobile book ban while she is on bed rest during her pregnancy, and the other as an au pair in a crumbling Scottish manor (castle even?), the home of the struggling Urquart family.

The kids for whom she gets paid to care for are nearly feral and only the youngest seems to have any redeeming qualities at all when Zoe first joins the household. Their father lives in the house but is essentially absent and even neglectful. I was angry at the father and the older two kids until about 200 pages in (yes, that far) when the author begins to explain how this family got to that point. Giving the Urquarts some attention, structure, stability, and love mostly did the trick, but the trauma was too deep in the 9 or 10-year old girl, Mary, to be remedied by those things alone. I thought the author did a decent job of taking childhood trauma seriously and not suggesting that all one needs is love to “cure” it.

The setting in the rural highlands of Scotland were romantically pastoral (or pastorally romantic, if you like), the main character (Zoe) was compelling and surprisingly three dimensional, and the relationship between Zoe’s child and the youngest Urquart boy were the highlights of the book for me, as well as the realization that it was not, indeed, a shallow chick flick. I did not enjoy nearly all non-essential characters in the book, except for the grumpy old maid, and I feel the story could have done without most of them completely. They and their stories took away from the main storyline without adding any value or even nuance.

3.75 out of 5.0 Merritt Badges

Feb 02, 2020

I actually really LOVED this book. I had read the first book several years ago - The Bookshop on the Corner - so I expected this would be at least as good. And I think it's even better, though it's a little bit confusing at the beginning, but keep going because after a couple chapters it'll clear up and you'll be hooked. It turns out to be a great read. A combination of sympathetic and quirky characters, a huge old mansion with dark secrets, a missing wife/mother, and even the Loch Ness monster!

Some readers complained that the bookshop isn't really a shop - and that's right - it's a bookmobile that sells books in various spots including the shore of the Loch Ness. The bookmobile gets its start in the first book, but you don't need to read that one to enjoy this heartwarming novel about books, love, parenting, and doing the right thing.

Jan 30, 2020

I usually like to sink into a Jenny Colgan book to relax and forget my day. 'The Bookshop on the Shore' is no different. Well, except one difference. 'The Bookshop on the Shore' seemed interminable. Just when it should come to conclusion, a new problem popped up. That is not to say it was not enjoyable, but it was a bit less enjoyable.

As a reader there is one quote from 'The Bookshop on the Shore' that is wonderful:

" Nina was proud of her ability to find the right book for the right person; to know instinctively what would suit people - where they would find comfort, or solace, or laughter, or thrills. Moods for books changed like the weather. Sometimes you wanted something profound to lose yourself in; a complete different world. Sometimes you wanted a romp. Sometimes you undeniably just wanted to read about something utterly awful happening to somebody who wasn't you. It was part of being a reader, that books chased your moods, and it was Nina's great skill to match them, like a sommelier matching a wine list to a menu."

LoganLib_Phoebe Jan 20, 2020

A funny and heartwarming novel. Zoe is a single mum doing it tough with a young son who has yet to speak. She seizes the opportunity to take on two new jobs near Loch Ness: running a travelling book shop and being a nanny to three children in an ancient house. It's the Sound of Music meets Jane Eyre in Scotland (with an evil chicken) and it's bound to bring a smile to your face.

Oct 11, 2019

2019; William Morrow Paperbacks/ HarperCollins Canada
(Review Not on Blog)

I was really enchanted with the first novel in this series, [book:The Bookshop on the Corner|28372019] and was excited when I realized it was becoming a series.

Single mom, Lottie is barely making ends meet, especially when her ex leaves her. To give her son, Raffie, a better life she decides to move to the Scottish Highlands and become a nanny. And, when Nina (the heroine from the first book) is put on bed rest, Lottie helps her out as well. Between an eccentric family and quirky patrons, Lottie is too busy to worry about her son not talking.

In comparison to the first book, I found this book a bit blah. There wasn't an endearing quality in this story. It fell a bit flat and I was ready for it to wrap up. I was glad I read it and would try another in the city.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***

Sep 12, 2019

This is my first book by this author. I checked it out because I presumed from the title that it is a beach book. Nope. It is set on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland.

It took me a long time to get into the book, and I'm glad I stayed with it. It is a charming, modern twist on the classic Jane Eyre. In this version, Jane is a single mother and there is no fire.

Sep 07, 2019

Jenny Colgan writes charming, uplifting books and this is another perfect example. They are a welcome change from the murder & mayham books out there. Highly recommended

Aug 22, 2019

Endearing characters and the book holds your interest.

JCLPiepieB Jun 24, 2019

I devoured this book. Even though it's been my experience that Jenny Colgan books are thick and chunky, for me they go very fast. This book was great! I loved all the titles and authors that were bandied about. My favorite characters were Hari, Shackleton, and Patrick. I hope there is more to this series!

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