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The Bookshop

The Bookshop By Penelope Fitzgerald The Bookshop In Florence Green a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance risks everything to open a bookshop the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough By making a success of a business so impr

  • Title: The Bookshop
  • Author: Penelope Fitzgerald
  • ISBN: 9780395869468
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Bookshop By Penelope Fitzgerald In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town s less prosperous shopkeepers By daring to enlarge her neighbors lives, she crosses Mrs Gamart, the local arts doyenne.In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town s less prosperous shopkeepers By daring to enlarge her neighbors lives, she crosses Mrs Gamart, the local arts doyenne Florence s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth a town that lacks a bookshop isn t always a town that wants one.
    The Bookshop By Penelope Fitzgerald

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    One thought on “The Bookshop

    1. Ilse on said:

      The melancholy of defeatShe did not know that morality is seldom a safe guide for human conduct.Like gentleness is not necessarily kindness, courage, hard work and virtue is not invariably rewarded, I learned as a child listening to George Brassens s songabout the poor brave little white horse that never saw spring Life is no bed of roses for the middle aged widow Florence Green When she decides to open a bookshop in the dozy coastal Suffolk town of Hardborough Southwold , she will have to find [...]

    2. Seemita on said:

      On an unusually upbeat evening, I was winding up from work The recently bought, crisp, intense 300 pages long fictional drama, that I had left, tantalizingly, at the 273rd page the previous night, was softly tip toeing in front of my eyes The unread pages were already floating invitingly in the evening breeze and I could not wait to reach home for resuming the date When I was just stepping into the lift, I received a call from a friend, a bibliophile in fact Hey Do you know they are closing down [...]

    3. Warwick on said:

      Reading this in conjunction with other nominees for the 1978 Booker Prize, like Jane Gardam s God on the Rocks and Kingsley Amis s Jake s Thing, really does give you this impression of 70s England as a place of small towns, insular gossip, hostility to new ideas, and a preoccupation with quotidian concerns over any sense of the wider world In a sense, fair enough but one does slightly yearn for a little ambition and pizzazz in the novelling world By comparison, Iris Murdoch s The Sea, The Sea, [...]

    4. Eddie Watkins on said:

      I started to read this because I was in the mood for a cozy book about a quaint English village bookshop, but soon found out I was in for something else altogether While there are those touches of quaint cozy English village life of which I know nothing personally , it s mainly about the rancor and spite that rises to the surface of the village when the bookshop opens It s a small book, not overly ambitious, but it s also perfectly proportioned and written with a master s touch There s a quick a [...]

    5. Margitte on said:

      A small village, Hardborough, hardly surviving the harsh salted air and erosion of the ocean, becomes the choice for a new book shop to be opened by a widow, Florence Green By all intentions, in 1959, it could have been an asset to the town, but it is soon obvious that Mrs Green overstepped social boundaries by buying a building that Mrs Violet Gamart, wife of general Gamart RET, wanted for other purposes Besides this unforgivable faut pas, Mrs Green also unknowingly interferes with the social l [...]

    6. Lynne King on said:

      This is a remarkable story about an ordinary woman, Florence Green, who in 1959, decides to open a bookshop in a small East Anglia coastal town Hardborough Does she succeed though All I will say is that she had to contend with local opposition Also remember we are talking about a different era, pre internet Booksellers then worked extremely hard and did not necessarily make financial gains Their love of books gave them one incentive to encourage everyone to read.I ve never forgotten the comment [...]

    7. Richard Derus on said:

      Rating 5 of fiveThe Publisher Says In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town s less prosperous shopkeepers By daring to enlarge her neighbors lives, she crosses Mrs Gamart, the local arts doyenne Florence s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted Only too late does [...]

    8. Libros Prestados on said:

      Un caramelo envenenado.Parece un libro sencillo, alegre y divertido sobre la vida en un pueblecito y se descubre como una descripci n descarnada de las luchas de poder en las poblaciones peque as, siempre conservadoras y deudoras de los poderes establecidos, de los caciques de costumbre.Abstenerse gente que crea en un mundo mejor, o que le frustre que las personas que se lo merecen no siempre reciban lo que se merecen.

    9. Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* on said:

      1.5 starsThe back of this book says that The Bookshop was shortlisted for the Booker Prize but unfortunately, to me, it sucked I m the first to admit some books are a bit over my head or I don t always get it, but in this case, I clearly GOT it, it just wasn t that good I would have dished out two stars too, but the ending ruined that and left me in a bad mood The main reason this book almost didn t get finished I would have abandoned if it wasn t so short , is that it was boring Seriously borin [...]

    10. David on said:

      If you asked me to choose a writer particularly skilled at illustrating the latent nastiness that lurks in small provincial towns, my first choice would probably be a French author either Balzac or de Maupassant The cruelties and resentments of village life are recurrent themes in their work a good illustration is one of de Maupassant s earliest and best known stories,Boule de Suife , which paints a devastating picture of the meanness and nastiness that characterizes the behavior of the powerful [...]

    11. Kelly on said:

      Not your fault, Penelope Just read one too many repressed English lady in a closed society stories in a row I think Instead of the connection and recognition I typically feel, I came out the other side of predicting the words you were going to say with the face of the enemies that you spend much of the book fighting Which means I need a break from you lovely ladies as overidentified with you as I am even I can need, like Charlotte, a little air to breathe and I can t appreciate going on one 20 [...]

    12. Jonfaith on said:

      My expectations were a bit Pym ish The Bookshop promised all sorts of apt visions, austerity, widows, spinsters, modernity, the Church Well there were traces of such harbored within, but the bend bent elsewhere I was actually reminded of Murdoch s Sandcastles, the provincials backbiting like crabs, human spirit crushed by petty jealousy It was perfect day for this here cats and dogs all day.

    13. Vipassana on said:

      A few weeks ago I read Walter Benjamin s essay, Critique of Violence The depth and rigour of his analysis was exacting and ultimately very rewarding Along with the entire essay, I tweeted a line from it For a cause, however effective, becomes violent, in the precise sense of the word, only when it bears on moral issues.Someone said that they didn t understand it and someone else misunderstood it and asked me several irrelevant questions It left me thinking, how do you explain an alternate to mor [...]

    14. Julie Ehlers on said:

      There seem to be a lot of reviews complaining that The Bookshop is depressing I don t understand that viewpoint at all This book was hilarious It s all about the humor of having diminished expectations and still being unable to live up to them Perhaps I shouldn t think too hard about why that appeals to me Four stars.

    15. Ivan on said:

      What an ugly little book this is The town seems ugly, not at all picturesque at least as described , and the people who live in it are even worse small minded, uncultured, unfriendly and toady Why would anyone want to live there, or choose to open a business there I m afraid I didn t much care for this bleak and uncompromisingly downbeat novel I found I couldn t even feel bad for the protagonist who seemed a rather silly sort who opens a book shop on a whim not from a love of books spoilers Mrs [...]

    16. Lela on said:

      This book was simply written with some interesting characters Having lived in a small English town for several years, I could appreciate some of the realities of hierarchy and subtle bullying Mrs Green had every chance of making her bookshop dream come true if not for the machinations of the woman of the manor The young girl who helped in the shop was delightful in her open manner and take charge attitude Families like hers fostered children who were like miniature adults The ending struck me a [...]

    17. Amanda on said:

      I was a bit disappointed in this one I expected to really love it It s about books and a bookstore and it takes place in England which are three of my favorite things but somehow it just didn t work for me There isn t anything wrong with it It s well enough written I just couldn t connect at all I couldn t get invested in the characters or the outcome Perhaps the fault lies with me and not the book I will give this author another chance soon.

    18. Amy on said:

      There is a certain type of novel where the strength of the writing is not in the action, or the mystery or the excitement of the plot, but in the evocative nature of the words the very plainness and chronicling of ordinary times for ordinary people No tidy wind up of happy endingsIt reminds me of Elizabeth Goudge, who once in describing herself said, I am not a serious chronicler of the very terrible contemporary scene, but just a storyteller There is so much tragedy about us everywhere today th [...]

    19. Diane on said:

      I would have enjoyed this novella if it wasn t so sad Florence Green decides to open up a bookshop in an old house in a small English town Things go well at first, and Florence even starts a lending library Unfortunately, one of the society ladies in town has her own plans for that building and does everything in her power to undermine the shop The novel is amusing in its depictions of small town life and politics, but it is so bittersweet that several times I sighed in frustration Cheer up, Fl [...]

    20. aPriL does feral sometimes on said:

      The Bookshop is a little story of an ordinary woman, Florence Green, in 1959 England with a little money She decides to open a bookstore in a little village which has no bookstore With a great deal of innocence and no savvy, she overcomes a number of obstacles a bank loan, buying a run down house, having no previous ties to the community and opens her store Tourists like the store It doesn t take long before a variety of village folk notice The local Establishment an aristocratic family and near [...]

    21. Luís C. on said:

      In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop the only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town s less prosperous shopkeepers By daring to enlarge her neighbors lives, she crosses Mrs Gamart, the local arts doyenne Florence s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth a t [...]

    22. Laurel Hicks on said:

      When I started this book I thought, Oh, another nice Miss Read When I finished, I just sat still for a while She gave me the same feeling I had after reading Henry James s Washington Square Oh, the cruelty Fitzgerald is a new author to me I m going to start looking for her other books.

    23. Colleen on said:

      What a disappointment A middle aged widow buys an old decrepit house and turns it into a book shop Right off the bat she finds herself up against a scheming socialite who wants to use the house as an arts centre Against great odds she finds herself making the book shop a success But there are constant obstacles placed in her path, all subtly arranged by the scheming socialite Florence earns the respect of many of the villagers for her courage to go on, especially the patriarch of an ancient fami [...]

    24. Margaret on said:

      This is a small, but lovely book I say small rather than short though it is, at only about 120 pages because like Austen, Fitzgerald works in miniature here The plot is simple Florence Green starts a bookshop in a small English town, and Fitzgerald examines the repercussions of her decision and its effects on herself and the other inhabitants of the town For me, this turned out an interesting example of how reading tastes can change over the years When I started it, I remembered belatedly that I [...]

    25. Steffi on said:

      Habe gerade 06.05.2017 meine alte Review wiedergefunden, von der ich nicht wei , ob ich sie heute noch so stehen lassen w rde Eine erneute Lekt re steht demn chst an Florence Green, Witwe und in ihrer Jugend Verk uferin in einer Buchhandlung, beschlie t, Ende der 50er Jahre in dem englischen D rfchen Hardborough eine Buchhandlung zu er ffnen Dabei stellen sich ihr einige Hindernisse in den Weg Das Domizil der Buchhandlung wird pl tzlich von der rtlichen Prominenz in Gestalt der Schirmherrin alle [...]

    26. Jennifer (aka EM) on said:

      What a fantastic book even the terrible, TERRIBLE ending Oh, so sad.Bah, small towns But boy, Florence made a run at it Love the wry perfect word, Elizabeth humour throughout, and the letters between Florence and her good for nothing lawyer, hah So I guess this would be equal parts dry comedy, farce, ghost story and town and country vignette, with a dash of satire Lolita was a nice touch Nods to Dickens throughout,too.Lovely Even tho the ending was TERRIBLE, did I say

    27. Rowena on said:

      A simple story of a widow trying to open a bookstore in her small town while being met with so much opposition Nothing really spectacular happens in the book but it was interesting to see how a small town operates The story is definitely very realistic I enjoyed some of the characters, especially the children A very quick read.

    28. Inés on said:

      No he conseguido disfrutar de esta lectura,tal vez no he elegido el mejor libro de Fitzgerald para estrenarme con ella,o quiz , si este es su estilo habitual,no es para m.

    29. Francisco H. González on said:

      Disfrut mucho con otro libro de Penelope, La flor azul y La librer a me ha parecido una notable narraci n La historia cifra la imposibilidad de una mujer de sacar adelante su proyecto empresarial una librer a, en 1959, en Hardborough, un peque o pueblo ingl s costero donde todos se conocen y detestan, donde la argamasa de la realidad son los dimes y diretes y en donde el inter s por la lectura parece ser m nimo Florence, la librera, se empecina con la idea, un tanto peregrina, pues no parece que [...]

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