So many books, so little time

27 10 2018

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.

It’s a battlefield in microcosm. Having opened her dream shop Florence comes under sustained assault, polite of course, from the many locals who want it to fail. It’s a beautifully written, precise and compact novel which captures perfectly the petty and mean aspects of village life. Everyone seems to be against Florence and the odds really are stacked against her and her shop. It doesn’t end well.

This has recently been made into movie but I suspect it will struggle to capture the low key impact of this very good story.



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