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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Strong, fascinating women in very difficult times

    Bloomsbury Girls picks up where author Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society left off. It’s now 1950 and we are lucky enough to have some of the same wonderful characters from that book with us again. There have been a lot of changes in post-WWII London, but for Vivien Lowry, Grace Perkins, and Evie Stone, employees at Bloomsbury Books, change is coming much too slowly. In fact, with their general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules it may as well be 1850 instead of 1950. All employees must adhere to the rules, but the “girls” have their place and they are expected to stay in it. Bloomsbury Girls is fascinating, fabulous – and frustrating. The characters are well-developed and multi-layered; sometimes you can’t decide whether you want to hug them or strangle them. The three women who work in the shop are very different from each other, but they are all conscientious, ambitious, and unsatisfied with what life has given them so far. The men are also very different from each other except for their devotion to convention and old-fashioned societal mores and their desire to keep those women where they belong -- taking orders, keeping quiet, and pretty much out of sight. In that they are united. The team spirit in play against the competitiveness and dissatisfaction makes for a very interesting story. Add to that glimpses into the worlds of art, fashion, literature and politics and famous people populating those worlds and you have a book you can’t put down. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing an advance copy of Bloomsbury Girls via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it without hesitation. All opinions are my own.

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  • Great Book Club Pick!

    Vivian, Grace, and Evie work together in a male dominated workforce after WWII at Bloomsbury Bookstore in London. When their boss falls ill and has to take time off, will they be able to break his rules and start running the bookstore the way they see fit? Will they be able to break barriers? Will the men they work with be supportive and help them achieve their goals? I loved how the author at the beginning of the book listed the characters and included a drawing of the book store! Helped to visualize where these ladies worked and how the store was laid out. I absolutely loved this book from the cover to writing to the story, it just draws you in! Perfect book for those who loves a good Historical Fiction Read! Great for book clubs as well!

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  • Strong women who paved their own way

    This is a fabulous historical fiction read and I highly recommend it. The story covers several women after the end of WW II when the men have come home and the women are once again asked to settle for less than their male counterparts. Rather than settle, these women work towards their future and goals and this is their story. Full of friendship, sweat, tears and some of famous figures of the time, this story is full of hope, perseverance and hard work. These are the types of women that have paved the way for rest of us and I loved seeing them shine in this book. I highly recommend this for the Historical Fiction lover.

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  • Women and Literature

    Bloomsbury books is a well established bookstore in London. It has remained the same for years and dominated by the men that own it and run it. Women are delegated to desk work , cataloging and helping customers. The three women that work at Bloomsbury Books are not happy with the bookstore , and the management. They want women authors who are never promoted and never asked to speak at the bookstore events to have more promotions . Vivian is single since her fiancee was killed in the war and has worked the longest at Bloomsbury. She has a long grievance with Alec the head of the fiction department. He never listens to any new ideas and he does not buy books by women author's. Grace is married with two sons. She is working at Bloomsbury Books to support her family since her husband's breakdown from his time in the war. She is torn between her duty to her family and her ambitions of her own. Evie is the newest employee. She is one of the first women allowed to graduate from Cambridge University. An academic position was lost to her to a male student with less experience and she is angry over that but must move on. She has a specific agenda for taking a job a Bloomsbury Books in the rare books section. These three women along with some prominent women in society and some women authors work together to make a future for themselves and to transform Bloomsbury Books. This is a story of women working for the rights to be seen as much as professionals as men. The fight to be recognized for their work and their abilities. It also has a bit of a romantic flavor to it and descriptions of unique places in London. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it. Thanks to Natalie Jenner for writing another great book, to St. Martin's Press for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me to read and review. All opinions in my review are my own.

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  • Great historical fiction

    What is not to like with a novel about an English bookshop, a group of diverse employees and famous writers here and there. Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner is that book. Although this is not listed as a sequel, there is a link to The Jane Austen Society in the person of Evie Stone who is an important character in both books. The time is after World War II. The place is London, which is beautifully described as characters wander there on their days off. Bloomsbury Books has been in business for a hundred years and not much has changed in that time. The management of this establishment are all male. There are three female employees: Vivien, Grace and Evie. Life is not easy to navigate for the women in more ways than one. The relationship between men and women is at the centre of this intricate plot. The rest of the story you must read for yourself. Natalie Jenner has written a thoughtful, honest and fair look at life in a post-war London bookshop and reading Bloomsbury Girls is an absolute pleasure. This is historical fiction at its best. A cup of tea, a comfy corner and this book is all you need for a satisfying read. Highly recommended. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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