About the Book:
Book: The Bookshop of Secrects
Author: Mollie Rushmeyer
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Christian)
Release date: October 25, 2022
A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family’s legacy…and her future.
Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family’s history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope’s last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.
Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she’s lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…
Books set in bookstores and about books are some of my favorites to read, and this was no exception. The new bookshop owner is one of my all time favorite tropes, and there’s something about reading a cozy book in the falltime that just hits different.
tw // PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, sex trafficking, domestic violence and abuse, sexual harassment, foster care (and abuse in the foster care system), drowning, dementia
This book was surprisingly heavy for what the back cover says: there are several topics (see trigger warnings) that I would have liked a warning about before reading. I appreciated the discussion on the heavier concepts, but I would have appreciated going into it knowing that those topics (particularly human trafficking) was going to be discussed.
As expected, the bookshop element was super cozy & lovely: both of the main characters enjoyed reading and were very knowledgeable about literature, which was different from usual. There was a cat named Fitzwilliam, which was really fun, and there was just overall a lot of discussion about classic literature–Jane Eyre, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables–that I really liked.
There was a lot of Christian content: a lot of discussion about faith, prayers, doubting, evil in the world, and so forth. As far as I can remember, neither of the characters are explicitly Christian, but conversation about faith and what it means to be a Christian was always on the table.
There were some mentions of vaguely feminist content that I did not like: Hope (the main character) is fiercely independent, and has some feminist ideology, which the author did not speak highly towards. A man said “Significant other, wife? I apologize. Maybe I’m a little behind in this politically correct world.” which I just thought was baffling.
There was somewhat of a mystery/treasure hunt aspect to this book, which was really fun to read. Unfortunately, it wrapped up a little unsatisfyingly, and the falling action didn’t make any sense. The background and reasoning behind the treasure hunt was never fully explained, and I was left a little confused.
There was also a thread of revealing old family histories, which was really interesting, but also not done very well. There was a lot of discussion about old family members, old journals, deeds/wills/treasure, which was really fun, but could have been more fleshed out. As it was, the driving motivation seemed a little lacking.
Hope’s lifelong dream is to open a coffeeshop/restaurant/bookshop on wheels, and some of the book was spent setting up and renovating this bus for her. I thought that part was really interesting, but there was so much going on in the rest of the book that it became a minor focus.
Overall, this book had a lot of potential but it fell flat: I think there were too many things covered, and I would have liked to see each of the plot points fleshed out in greater detail. For example, I would have liked to see more about the bus renovation, the treasure hunt, the family secrets, the bookshop, but due to the length and the number of topics discussed, each of the points was not fully covered.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.
About the Author:
Mollie writes contemporary fiction with a heart for history. What does this mean exactly? She loves to write inspirational fiction in contemporary settings with fascinating historical elements, people, objects, and stories woven throughout. A modern girl herself– She wouldn’t want to go a day without modern plumbing and central air! But she’s always felt a special connection to the past. The legacies and lives left behind are like gifts waiting to be unwrapped, and she’s excited to share this blend of history and contemporary living with readers. A born and bred Midwestern gal, Mollie Rushmeyer, makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband and two spunky, beautiful daughters. She is not only a bibliophile (the dustier the better, in her opinion), she’s a true anglophile at heart. Tea and coffee fuel her travels, by Google maps at least, and her passion for the written word.
To celebrate her tour, Mollie is giving away the grand prize package of a eBook or signed paperback copy (paperback U.S. Only) of The Bookshop of Secrets and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
For more information about this blog tour, and exclusive content from the author about The Bookshop of Secrets, as well as more stops from the blog tour, click here.