The Bookshop on the Shore

The Bookshop on the Shore

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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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 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan. Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her four year old son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where shouting football fans keep them awake all night. Hari's dad, Jaz, a charismatic but perpetually broke DJ, is no help at all. But his sister Surinder comes to Zoe's aid, hooking her up with a job as far away from the urban crush as possible: a bookshop on the banks of Loch Ness. And there's a second job to cover housing: Zoe will be an au pair for three children at a genuine castle in the Scottish Highlands. But while Scotland is everything Zoe dreamed of—clear skies, brisk fresh air, blessed quiet—everything else is a bit of a mess. The Urquart family castle is grand, but crumbling, the childrens' single dad is a wreck, and the kids have been kicked out of school and left to their own devices. Lottie has her work cut out for her, and is determined to rise to the challenge, especially when she sees how happily Hari has taken to their new home. With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own...?
Publisher: 2019
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : William Morrow Paperbacks, 2019. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 976 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9780062850195


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May 26, 2020

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE SHORE is my second foray into author Jenny Colgan’s “BOOKSHOP” series. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same misleading title and cover art as its predecessor. The “shop” is a van that figures very loosely in the plot. Once again, most of the action takes place in the Scottish Highlands, but this time in an old family castle. And in my opinion, the setting is the most interesting element of the story. The castle’s estate is along the “shore” of Loch Ness, which adds atmosphere to the plot line. To me, THE BOOKSHOP ON THE SHORE is a mix of Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, and a Harlequin Romance that strives to be relevant for today’s world (single mothers, interracial relationships, and biracial children). It’s a predictable and entertaining enough comfort read, but not one I’ll remember in months to come.

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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