“Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile — a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.”
-Synopsis from StoryGraph
*light spoilers ahead*
Jenny Colgan is an author I have been meaning to read for years. When I saw The Bookshop on the Corner was available to checkout digitally one afternoon when I couldn’t figure out what to read, I decided it was finally time to read this book that so many readers have recommended to me over the years.
I listened to the audiobook version and I’m so glad I did because the narrator’s Scottish accent really made the story come alive. This book is an ode to the love of books and libraries and was nothing short of delightful.
The beginning of the book sees Nina, a librarian, facing drastic changes to her professional life and the future of libraries as a whole. I identified so much with this and with how Nina and her coworkers try to navigate the changes. This part of the story was spot-on, and I was so pleasantly surprised that Jenny Colgan was able to articulate this so well. It was very believable and I was all for Nina choosing a new career path based on her profession’s changes.
The rest of the story sort of meanders but not in a bad way. Nina meets lots of interesting people in the Scottish village she relocates to (temporarily at first) including the landlord mentioned in the synopsis, and a pseudo-love interest. This part was lost on me a little because I could see Nina making bad decisions and I didn’t quite see how it aligned with the story at large because it felt very random. Through it all, Nina ends up where she is supposed to and decides to stay permanently. We also get updates on her coworkers who stayed behind to try to make their library gigs work, and everything manages to come full circle.
This book is part of a series which currently only has one other book. It’s on my to-read list to read at some point when I need something cheerful and happy.