by Jenny Colgan
Publication Date October 28, 2021
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Genres: Fiction, Fiction / General, Fiction / Romance / Workplace
Perfect for the holidays! A brand-new heartwarming Christmas novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner and Christmas at the Island Hotel.
When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.
Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.
At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan is everything you want in a Christmas book and more! It’s a charming and heartwarming story of love, family, relationships, and redemption. I knew a holiday story set in a historic bookshop would be good, and I was not disappointed.
Carmen is forced to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, and her perfect family after she lost her job in a department store’s haberdashery department. With no job prospects in her dying town, she grudgingly moves to Edinburg to live with her sister and her perfect family. Sofia, an attorney, finds Carmen a job in her clients, a dilapidated and unprofitable bookstore owned and managed by Mr. McCredie in the old historical shopping district in downtown Edinburgh.
Carmen quickly realizes that Mr. McCredie is not a good businessman, and enjoys reading much more than running his bookshop. She uses her retail experience to instill some much-needed warmth, and Christmas spirit into the bookshop as she grows to love the store and old Mr. McCredie. She meets an exciting, famous, and rich self-help author who befriends her, even if he is a bit self-involved. And she finds the quiet, but lovely, university lecturer, Oke, a friendly face with a genuine personality, a warm and pleasant friend.
A Christmas Bookshop has a lot of heart and is the perfect holiday book. These characters are so well developed with flaws and traits that make them real to the reader. The author’s descriptions of Edinburgh and the historic district in winter are so realistic I felt like I was walking to the old historic bookshop along with Carmen. The story flowed so well that I never felt it drag or move too fast. I enjoyed the relationship Carmen developed with Mr. McCredie, Sofie, and especially Sofie’s three (soon to be four) children. And I loved the way Carmen and Sofie worked through their old grievances and learned to love each other’s strengths and weaknesses.