Friday, January 5, 2018

Book Review: Miss Mary’s Book of Dreams

By Becky Gulc

A book set in my hometown of York! Yay! I have to say this was a very good reason to pick up this novel for me. But it’s not all about the setting... Here is the synopsis:

‘Ella runs Happily Ever After, a bookshop nestled in the cobbled streets of York.

She's a wife, a mother and a successful novelist. But something is missing . . .

One day a strange girl comes into Ella's shop. Bryony is shy and unsure, and Ella feels a strange connection to her.

With the help of one very special book - and a little touch of magic - can these women help each other find the fairy tale endings they've been searching for?’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

So there have certainly been a lot of novels about people running bookshops in the past year, and I’ve read a few of them but Miss Mary's Book of Dreams certainly offers something unique.

I found it took a while to get going; it was lacking the ‘touch of magic’ I’d been promised. It certainly wasn’t a book I was quickly engaged in, but one that slowly built, and it was worth it. In actual fact, the slow build-up was key for engaging with Ella as a character (a busy mother, running a business and trying to write her second novel whilst battling mental health issues), and the lovely bookshop which was so vivid in my mind and almost a character in itself. This build-up was also important in retrospect to making the plot believable, I was convinced!

The characters are wonderful, Ella’s small family, Bryony, the eccentric wider family, the dastardly Selina. I loved the instant and mysterious connection between Ella and Bryony and how the realisation of this connection slowly panned out keeping me engaged throughout.

I’ve seen it mentioned on the Amazon page that this book is perfect for those who enjoyed Chocolat, and I definitely agree with this. It’s not ‘chick lit’ in a traditional way but it’s a lovely, uplifting and different read.

Thanks to Zaffre for the book in exchange for an honest review.


Jencey Gortney said...

Great review! This book looks very interesting!

Dianna said...

Aw, I love that it's likened to Chocolat.

Janine said...

This book sounds interesting