The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II
It’s August 1939 and Grace Bennet, along with her best friend Viv, leaves her small village to live in London with Mrs. Weatherford, her deceased mother’s best friend. Both are hoping to secure positions at Harrods, but with no letter of recommendation, Grace cannot work there and so must take whatever job she can find, which is how she, a girl with no interest at all in reading, ends up working in a small bookshop just as the Blitz begins. Even against the backdrop of constant fear and nightly blackouts, Grace finds strength thanks to the books and the people connected to them. She even finds love and a new understanding of those she thought cruel and unlovable.
Madeline Martin’s The Last Bookshop in London is a well-researched novel about World War II. She excels in telling the personal stories of the characters in such a way that readers are brought so close to them that it is impossible not to cry along with their tragedies and celebrate their victories. Any novel about World War II must include the horrible facts, but where this one differs is the way Martin observes the humanity in the small acts.
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