Ardent and Idealistic, Esme Garland has arrived in Manhattan with a scholarship to study art history at Columbia University. When she falls in love with New York blue-blood Mitchell van Leuven, with his penchant for all things erotic, life seems to be clear sailing, until a thin blue line signals stormy times ahead. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he abruptly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all. Stubbornly determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore to make ends meet. The Owl is a shabby all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters, such as handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke and George, the owner, who lives on spirulina shakes and idealism. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme - but will it be enough to sustain her when Mitchell, glittering with charm and danger, comes back on the scene? The Bookstore is a celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them. The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.
Deborah Meyler's first novel is a witty, sharply-observed story of a twenty-something Englishwoman who finds unexpected salvation in a shabby Upper West Side bookstore in New York.
This is a gorgeous book, witty, lyrical, and bursting with heart, an unabashed love letter to books, to Manhattan, and to human goodness. You will race home to read it, and when you finish you will be smiling, wondering what happened next...and quietly formulating your next excuse for a trip to New York City. Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters Sometimes a book is perfect company, and The Bookstore is that and more, a deeply charming, beautifully written novel, both funny and moving; a love song to a city and to books with some side smooches for painting. Leslie Daniels, author of Cleaning Nabokov's House
Deborah Meyler was born in Manchester, went to Oxford, did a master's thesis on Edith Wharton at St Andrews, was sponsored by The Guardian for a journalism diploma, and then, to the detriment of her career but not to her happiness, went to live in New York for a few years. She now lives in Cambridge with her partner and daughters.