Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late. 

Believe it or not, this is my very first Katherine Reay book.  I am happy to say that I have two more of her books on my Kindle and I'm excited for the chance to read them.  This is her newest release and I think it was a great place for me to start.

I want to work in a bookshop.  I think that might be my dream job- to be surrounded by books all day, to talk about books all day, to help people find books that they love ALL DAY.  Seriously.  I wish bookshops weren't starting to feel like a thing of the past.  This book was all about that Painted Letter Bookshop and I loved it.  By the end of the book, it felt like home to not only Madeline, Claire and Janet, but to me as well.  I loved the book references and wished I knew more about some of the books spoken of.  I think I have a bit more reading to do!

The story starts off with a funeral and a very confused Madeline who later learns she has inherited all that her aunt has.  This sets Madeline on quite a journey as she has to not only navigate a store that is failing but the lives of everyone in connection with her aunt and her store.  This story revolves around Madeline and the two women who work at the bookshop.  Even though Aunt Maddie isn't there anymore, it really is all about her as well.  Her influence is woven into each woman.  It was a slow build of information but one I really enjoyed.  I was literally getting to know each woman in a very personal and intimate way.  Every woman will probably be able to find a bit of herself somewhere in at least one of these very different women.

This book isn't a romance.  It isn't especially bright and happy either.  These women are living real lives with real struggle and faults.  They excel at some things and struggle with other things.   Sometimes I felt the heaviness of it weighing me down but there was always a thread of hope to hang onto.  It took me a bit to become invested in these characters but by about halfway through, it was tough to put this book down.  I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

Content:  some talk of God, praying, forgiveness.  Mention of affair, drinking alcohol.  

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.



  1. I like the sound of this, but im wary because it’s listed as Christian fiction.

    1. I understand completely. I am sometimes wary as well. I never want to overwhelmed by preaching in the books I read. This one had what I would call moderate moments of talk of God, some scripture, praying and seeking forgiveness but it wasn't like that throughout the whole book.


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