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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Poignant, affecting, and beautifully written!

    The Last Bookshop in London is an engaging, moving tale set during WWII that follows Grace Bennett, a young woman who heads to London in the fall of 1939 in the hopes of a better life and a glamourous career only to find herself employed in a dusty bookshop and war being declared. The writing is seamless and smooth. The characters are brave, resilient, and supportive. And the plot is an absorbing tale of life, loss, family, heartbreak, friendship, self-discovery, community, determination, tragedy, survival, and love. As time passes and memories start to fade, these stories are so important in reminding us how much novels helped and continue to help people cope with devastating circumstances and unimaginable losses, as well as how the strength, courage, selflessness, and sacrifices of that generation, enabled us the lives we lead today. I loved The Last Bookshop in London, and I hope everyone who enjoys historical fiction picks this one up.

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  • Amazing!

    A profound journey that takes the heroine, Grace, to London, on the eve of WWII, with her friend Viv. With no true home of her own, Grace hopes to find a job, but with no true references, ends up at Primrose Hill Books, a dusty bookstore owned by a Mr. Percival Evans. Having never had an interest in books, Grace is a great organizer and gets to work cleaning up the shop to pull in more customers. But as fate would have it, a handsome gentleman one days gives her a book to read, and although it takes her a bit to get started, it literally changes the direction of her future! With everyone going off to war, she gets involved as an ARP-Air Raid Precaution, volunteer. As she patrols London, she shares her new love of reading with the people she comes in contact with and helps protect her area. An outstanding historical fiction story, by an amazing author, who continues to stretch her writing abilities to the point there is no end to her creativity. Emotional at times, with characters not soon forgotten, brings joy and sorrow with the highlighting of books that we as readers understand their power. Perfect.

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  • My Musings

    Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the electronic copy of The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. An absorbing novel that takes place in war-torn London. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this book prior to publication. My opinions are my own and nothing influenced my rating. The Last Bookshop in London is a well written historical fiction story, and the descriptive writing is so vivid. I could feel the tension when the bombing started. The fear pulsated as I read, making me feel like I was right there experiencing what with the characters were going through. I loved the aspect of the book where Grace starts working at the bookshop with no love of reading, and she finds that books open the world to in a way she never expected. Grace Bennett is the main protagonist, and I quickly became vested in her. Her character development is incredible. She goes from a scared eighteen-year-old to a mature young woman refusing to let the devastation of the war dampen her perspective of the world. I loved everything about her. While this book is not a romance, it does have a lovely romantic element, and I enjoyed how that played out. I really wanted Grace to find happiness after so much sadness. This is a real tribute to the Londoners who lived through WWII. As an American, our country only saw the war from a far. The Londoners lived through the brutality of it every day for years. In 2016, I visited England, and while in Plymouth, the touring coach past a shelled-out church. I asked why the church had never been torn down, and the guide explained it was left that way so they would never forget the horrors of that terrible war. If you enjoy historical fiction novels with compelling characters and an intriguing plot, then you will love The Last Bookshop in London as much as I did. I didn’t want it to end! If it were possible to give this amazing book more than 5 stars I would. This is the best book I’ve read in quite some time, and it will go on my list of books I will reread. Happy reading!

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  • Historically enriched, emotional for me.

    This story started a bit slow for me but, once it ramped up, it became an emotional roller coaster. Grace wanted independence and to help with the war efforts. Her love for books grew as she worked in the bookshop and helped her assist the people of her community. It was interesting to see how the books related to the moment. Through her efforts to protect the neighborhood, Grace saw the worst of the war, yet she again guided her community to survive. I am pretty sure that I cried for the last 20 pages as I read to the last page. I recommend this story, rich with historical details and flavor. I received an ARC through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

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  • engaging

    I enjoyed The Last Bookshop in London. I was expecting it to be a romance because Martin writes some brilliant romances. It is not a romance, but a work of fiction. Grace Bennett arrives in London just before World War II and gets a job in a local bookshop. This story details Grace’s life during the war and its impact on her local community. I thought the storyline was compelling and insightful. There is a little romance in it, but mostly it is a daily account of life in war-torn London.

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