I am always drawn to books involving bookshops as well as books set during World War II. So how could I resist a story that combined both elements? Come see why I fell in love with Madeline Martin’s The Last Bookshop in London.
by Madeline Martin
Genres: Historical Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, The Last Bookshop in London is a timeless story of wartime loss, love and the enduring power of literature.
August 1939: London is dismal under the weight of impending war with Germany as Hitler’s forces continue to sweep across Europe. Into this uncertain maelstrom steps Grace Bennett, young and ready for a fresh start in the bustling city streets she’s always dreamed of—and miles away from her troubled past in the countryside.
With aspirations of working at a department store, Grace never imagined she’d wind up employed at Primrose Hill, an offbeat bookshop nestled in the heart of the city—after all, she’s never been much of a reader. Overwhelmed with organizing the cluttered store, she doesn’t have time to read the books she sells. But when one is gifted to her, what starts as an obligation becomes a passion that draws her into the incredible world of literature.
As the Blitz rains down bombs on the city night after night, a devastating attack leaves the libraries and shops of London’s literary center in ruins. Miraculously, Grace’s bookshop survives the firestorm. Through blackouts and air raids, Grace continues running the shop, discovering a newfound comfort in the power of words and storytelling that unites her community in ways she never imagined—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of war-torn London.
The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin drew me in with its World War 11 time period and bookshop setting in London. Rich, captivating and well written Madeline Martin pulled me into the story and endeared me to these characters.
It’s 1939 and with the threat of an impending war with Hilter, Grace Bennett and her best friend Viv, set out to London to live in the home of her late mother’s best friend. Without a letter of referral from her Uncle, Mrs. Weatherford secures her a position at the Primrose Hill Book Store with its owner the, curmudgeon Mr. Evans.
Grace dreamed of working in the department stores like Viv, and knows nothing about books, but a handsome young man gifts her a book before he is called up to war and opens the door to a passion for the written word.
From the bookish goodness, to the rich details of life in London during the bombings and the goings on in Grace’s life. We have a slow-burn side of romance, but the primary focus is Grace, the bookshop and her impact of the surrounding community during these dark and difficult times.
Grace is wonderful and felt genuine. She affects the lives of everyone she touches. I found myself swept up and transported to London. I could smell the musty books and the fires that burned. I imagined myself in the bomb shelters, and after shortages from the pandemic, wondered at rations and conditions folks endured during the war. Martin touched on the losses too, and I swiped the tears from my eyes more than once.
Fans of historical fiction with historical details of WWII in London will want to add this story to their bookshelves. Fans of bookshop tales who haven’t dabbled in historical fiction should give this one a try. The bookshop is central to the story with talks about some fantastic titles.The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin offered a wonderful WWII historical fiction surrounding a bookshop. #MustRead #NewRelease #HistoricalFitction Click To Tweet
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