Sunday, January 22, 2012
The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon
The Secret of Happy Ever After revolves around a bookstore. Anna is given the chance at her dream job and run a bookstore leased by her friend Michelle. In the course of the year, many events happen, and they both (predictably) come out better for it.
I think what made this book really great was Michelle. It's easy to write a book that's full of book lovers, so the inclusion of an extremely business minded person like Michelle made for a great contrast. I can actually understand her arguments, and I quite admire some of her tactics - like selling reading accessories (e.g. blankets) along with books in order to boost the profit margin.
But even though this book has a bookstore at the centre, it doesn't actually revolve around it. The main focus are the lives of Anna and Michelle. Anna wants children. Very badly. Instead, she has three (not-so) lovely stepchildren, and her husband intends to break his promise to let her try for a baby. On the other hand, Michelle is running away from her husband, who abused her emotionally.
What I liked about the book was the melding of the two things - the bookstore (which is quite clearly the catalyst for change) and the two ladies. It seems that as the bookshop flourishes (in terms of customers coming in, not sales), the two ladies lives are changed more and more. This isn't a purely bookshop book, there are books about that (I think. I haven't had the chance to read many of them), but the bookshop is prominent. Basically, I like how the bookshop is a large feature of the book.
While I have to return this book, I think I'll be keeping an eye out for it in the future, because I want a copy. After all, one of my dreams is to have my own bookshop. (My other dreams are/were to be a CEO and/or a stockbroker. Yes, I had weird dreams).