The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin
On the eve of World War II, Grace Bennett and her best friend, Viv, move from Norfolk to London on a lark, fulfilling childhood dreams, and they room with Grace’s mother’s friend, Mrs. Weatherford. A force of nature, Mrs. Weatherford gets Grace a job with curmudgeonly Mr. Evans at Primrose Hill Books – despite the fact that Grace has never been a reader. Determined to do her best, Grace sets about cleaning and reorganizing the store, and she immerses herself in reading, with help from handsome customer George Anderson.
But war is declared. Viv joins the ATS, George joins the RAF, and bombs begin to fall on London. After work, Grace does her bit as an air raid warden. Then tragedy hits, and Grace is shaken by the death and devastation caused by the Blitz. However, when Grace overcomes her reserve and begins reading out loud in the Underground station during air raids, something amazing happens in her community.
Charming and uplifting, The Last Bookshop in London shows the beauty of what happens when people reach outside themselves and help others. With excellent research, Madeline Martin brings World War II London to life, and her characters are rich and varied. This novel has become a New York Times and USA Today bestseller with good reason. For my more sensitive readers – please note this is a clean read – enjoy!