The internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.
The war is over in London and the delightful Evie Stone is back. Having completed her studies at Cambridge she is hoping to get a position at the school. However, in typical fashion, the position goes to a man.
Using one of her contacts from The Jane Austen Society as a reference, she applies for a job at Bloomsbury Books. Selling new and rare books and resisting change in any form for a hundred years. Run by men and the fifty-one rules. Yes, 51.
But it’s 1950 and things are about to be shaken up like a snow globe with Evie’s arrival.
The women who work here, Vivien and Grace are tired of all of the men treating them as less than. Vivien’s fiance died in action in the war and Vivien is angry about a lot of things. Being passed over for a job she is very qualified for as well as her mortal enemy Alec, Head of Fiction. Vivien wants to write. She is constantly writing. Alec wants to write but never can.
Grace, the married one in the group is a glorified secretary who is just trying to support her family after her husband came back from the war a different man. A mean man who she wishes she could leave.
And then there is Evie. One of the first class of female students allowed to graduate and earn a degree at Cambridge. But Evie isn’t there to just work out a system for the messy rare book section, she has a purpose and is looking for something. Something she found at the great house in Chawton.
A chance meeting with Daphne Du Maurier has lit a fire under these women. Why can’t they follow their dreams? When other women join their cause, such as Peggy Guggenheim, Sonia Blair, Ellen Doubleday, and others, things are getting done. Have the women outplayed the men here? Oh, yes. And it is delicious.
I am so happy to see Evie! I so wanted to hear how she was getting on. And in this tale, she may even find love!
Very Well Done once again!
NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press