Monday, May 9, 2022

Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel by Natalie Jenner

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Natalie Jenner, 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 in Bloomsbury Girls.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager's unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances--most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she's been working to support the family following her husband's breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she's working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time--Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others--these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

my thoughts:

Love, love, love! Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner is a superb story that captured my heart and kept me reading til the wee hours of the morning. I absolutely LOVED it to bits! What a book!

It's 1950 in London and Bloomsbury Books is about to meet some change in the form of three young women: Grace, Vivien, and Evie. The store is run by men and they are stuck in the past.  In fact, Mr. Dutton, the manager of the store, has a set of 51 rules that MUST be followed.  And the women are expected to make tea and handle the cashier's desk, but not much else. Talk about ignorant co-workers. These women have ideas, determination, and know the meaning of hard work - they can make the bookshop soar, if they are given the chance.  This is their story and it is awesome. I just loved getting to know Grace, Vivien, and Evie - they were such great characters. I especially enjoyed their interactions with some of history's favorite writers - what a treat!  Plus, it was such fun to read about the ways in which they showed their male colleagues how to get the job done. 

Jenner has created a fantastic story that really draws you in and keeps you hooked. The history, the literary figures, the characters, and the storylines are all top notch.  Meaning, they are written about with such rich and vivid detail that you can't help but find yourself transported to Bloomsbury Books getting caught up in all of the drama. I just loved it! Bloomsbury Girls is an engaging and entertaining story that you can't help but fall in deep with - it's just that damn good. 

I would happily recommend this book to fans of Jenner and to anyone looking for their next great read - check it out ASAP!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


Laurel Ann Nattress said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nadia. I loved being in a London bookshop with these 3 strong ladies. I am glad you enjoyed it as well. Such glowing praise. I can't wait to read what Jenner comes up with next.

Vintage Reading said...

I'm intrigued by fictional characters interacting with Daphne Du Maurier! I've gotta read this.