Release Date: January 1, 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Length: 487 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green grabbed me from page one and didn’t let me go until I read the last page. It’s been a while since a book had me laughing, hard, and out loud. It was a perfect weekend pickup and an unexpectedly delightful read.
Through emails, journals, newspaper ads, and an increasingly hysterical excerpts from a small business review, we follow the antics of Fawn Birchill. When a well-connected indie bookseller moves onto her quiet street in West Philadelphia, the 50-something bookseller with a wild imagination and a penchant for exaggeration strives to keep up with the new competition.
The fast-paced epistolary novel has an easy-to-read style which threw me into the deep ed of a wonderful character study. Although the book is set in Philadelphia, Fawn Birchill is a character that could rub elbows with some of the great classic British television comedy characters. Fans of Black Books, Keeping Up with Appearances, and The Vicar of Dibley will immediately attach to the flawed, but charming, Fawn.
Just when you think her scheming couldn’t possibly take a wilder turn, she finds a way to escalate the situation which evokes a cringe and a belly laugh in equal measure. Fawn manages to be terrible in one scene, then turn around and follow through with an act of self-less kindness. She’s utterly human and completely captivating.
My main criticism was the length of the novel. It felt like it could have used a bit of a trim to uplift the sagging, spiraling middle. That nearly lost me, but I pulled through and was left feeling warm-hearted and touched by the core message. Fawn’s journey is going to stick with me, and I’m so glad I started 2021 with this hilariously wonderful book.
I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.