Saturday, January 2, 2021

Review: The Lost and Found Bookshop (Bella Vista Chronicles ) by Susan Wiggs

In this thought-provoking, wise and emotionally rich novel, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs explores the meaning of happiness, trust, and faith in oneself as she asks the question, "If you had to start over, what would you do and who would you be?"

There is a book for everything . . .

Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.

Paperback, 355 pages
Published September 17th 2020
by Harper Collins
4/5 stars

  This book wasn't the rom/com I anticipated, to be honest I didn't even reread the blurb from when it arrived in my mailbox - it was on my shelf and that means I want to read it, right?  I think it was the title that drew me to this purchase - anything bookish usually does.

Though the story is told from both Natalie and Andrew the bulk is Natalie.  There were times that the story jumped back in time as both reminisced where I was caught off guard and I had to do a double take but it didn't take long to became so absorbed in the story where that wasn't an issue at all.  
The Lost and Found Bookshop was my introduction to Susan Wiggs and I loved the setting.  A bookstore with lots of charm, history and a roaming cat.  It was an authentic journey of grief and loss, secrets and revelations. With an interesting cast of characters, lots of name/book dropping and a bookshop housed in a building with lots of history that just didn't want to stay hidden. A unique story that flowed nicely and not heavy in the romance department.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and imagine my surprise when I found out this is actually book 3 in the Bella Vista Chronicles - so definitely works as a standalone. That being said I already have the previous books in my TBR pile for 2021.

This book was part of my 2020 Reading off my Shelf Challenge. 

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