Author: Elizabeth Green

Pages: 483 pages

Publishing house:  Lake Union Publishing

Publishing date:  January 1, 2021

Bookshops, cats, and secret confessions — what could possibly go wrong!

Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green is a story of 50 something-year-old Fawn, a bookshop owner and a cat lover, who tries to save her business from a new bookshop that opened just around the corner.

It is written in the forms of e-mail correspondence, online comments, and a little bit of Fawn’s journaling. A modern epistolary form.

Everything about this book, from title and cover to the overview, grabs the reader’s attention and almost calls out to be read.

Without question, Fawn Birchill knows that her used bookstore is the heart of West Philadelphia, a cornerstone of culture for a community that, for the past twenty years, has found the quirkiness absolutely charming. When an amicable young indie bookseller invades her block, Fawn is convinced that his cushy couches, impressive selection, coffee bar, and knowledgeable staff are a neighbourhood blight. Misguided yet blindly resilient, Fawn readies for battle.

But as she wages her war, Fawn is forced to reflect on a few unavoidable truths: the tribulations of online dating, a strained relationship with her family, and a devoted if not always law-abiding intern–not to mention what to do about a pen pal with whom she hasn’t been entirely honest and the litany of repairs her aging store requires.

Through emails, journal entries, combative online reviews, texts, and tweets, Fawn plans her next move. Now it’s time for her to dig deep and use every trick at her disposal if she’s to reclaim her beloved business–and her life.

The book can not be claimed as a life changing text but it is certainly a light and refreshing read – a much needed distraction from our current climate – while Confessions of a Curious Bookseller will entertain you and make you laugh, its an easy read without complications or difficult plots; the perfect medicine for January blues. Plus the easy format of narration, immediately strikes an engagement with the reader and encourages one to keep on turning the page, and despite the fact that we mostly see events from Fawn’s perspective but others are given a voice too, such as her rival, Mark and her mother, sister, penpal and even her employers. We can’t fully engage with most of the characters due to their short correspondence but the reader does grow to semi-like Fawn and her peculiar ways. In fact as the book progresses we begin to understand Fawn’s peculiar way and appreciate her insecurities that stems from her childhood and the way her father was never open in his feelings towards her.

The book does not fully live up to its title or even book cover but we would certainly recommend Confessions of a Curious Bookseller as a holiday read or a book to pick up that will just offer you a much-needed relief. We will give the book a rating of 3 out of 5, because although it is an enjoyable read its not a novel that will leave a mark on you nor is it likely to be put forward to any literary award.

Confessions of a Curious Bookseller is Elizabeth Green debut novel, she has graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA in theatre arts and lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and two cats.