“The Owl Bookstore provided a great setting in NYC for the characters, with Esmee the main character who frequented this bookstore after moving to the city from England, and later worked there. Deborah Meyler's description of the bookstore and employees were very realistic.”see full review » see other reviews »
“The Owl Bookstore provided a great setting in NYC for the characters, with Esmee the main character who frequented this bookstore after moving to the city from England, and later worked there. Deborah Meyler's description of the bookstore and employees were very realistic. ”Mary B wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A wonderful story. The characters were interesting and the bonding among the members of the staff at The Owl Used Bookstore was wonderful. If it were not for that bond the main character Esmee would never have found the courage to live her life as she wants, not one dictated by others.”LadySatel wrote this review Monday, November 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved the plot and the setting. The characters gave me a few more problems. I waffled back and forth between liking Esme and wanting to give her a little shake. The relationship between her and Mitchell baffled me. ”Mary Ann Giasson wrote this review Monday, October 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
This has been a difficult review to write. I started by really enjoying this story and became a bit bored in the middle. Esme comes from a small English town to study art history in New York and falls in love with Mitchell who comes from a rich and influential family. Mitchell seemed okay to me at first but when he hears that Esme is pregnant he completely changes and dumps her in not a very nice manner. He continues changing his feelings during the book and Esme continues to fall for him. He obviously has some kind of personality disorder and although his ex girlfriend tries to tell Esme about this we are never really given any explanation about why he is like that. He goes from good guy to an absolute heel, I could use a few other words for him but I'm too much of a lady.
I was frustrated by that and also by how gullible Esme was and did want to shake her at times.
I loved the bookstore that she frequented and eventually works in. The owners are unusual throwbacks from the hippy era, my feelings changed towards them during the book from not really being sure if they were genuine to liking them immensely. I enjoyed the various other characters surrounding Esme. There are few homeless people who help out from time to time in the store and a sad story attached to one of them.
The bookstore was described well and I could almost smell the books and wanted to sit inside and curl up with one. The sights and smells of New York are also very vivid.
I felt too many references were made to the art history and classic books. Not having a great deal of knowledge of either one I felt a bit left out, like the one at a party who doesn't get the joke but if you are well versed in the classics then you'll love this book.
I did enjoy The Bookstore maybe I'm just not clever enough to get the significance of the classical
“Esme falls for Mitchell, who makes himself scarce when she finds out she's expecting. The real attraction of this book is the depictions of New York City and the cozy bookstore where she finds a job.”Rebecca W wrote this review Thursday, September 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“good, a very touching read and interesting... didn't like the ending”jessica s wrote this review Tuesday, September 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A wonderful ode to books and New York
The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler is a wonderful ode to books, bookshops and New York. Like all good authors Meyler has included plenty of her life experiences and loves and especially a love for New York City. A born and bred Mancunian who after Oxford and St Andrews Universities lived out in New York a city she fell in love with and that comes through in the novel.
Esme Garland our protagonist in the story is a 23 year old art history graduate of the world famous Cambridge University has won a scholarship to Columbia to study for a doctorate. Thousands of miles from home she falls in love with an economics lecture, Mitchell who is from old money in New York. Their relationship is very much an on/off relationship and she finds herself pregnant and alone. She decides she will keep the baby and looks for work to help support the child alongside her university studies. She finds employment at The Owl a second hand bookstore, a place where she has looked in a number of times.
Throughout the book with love being an unreliable force with Mitchell it is The Owl that provides her with a crook to hold on to and find a definition of love and hope. It is Owl in Manhattan that provides her with a refuge from the world outside where she loves the books, the customers and her co workers. There are so many wonderful literary references throughout the novel it helps to make the book very comforting.
This is a wonderful book a masterful debut novel that some people have wrongly labelled chick lit it is many things it is not chick lit! This is a beautifully written witty debut novel from Deborah Meyler that is an ode to love, love of a child, the love of books and the love of characters that surround themselves around books.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough – the pleasure last from the first to the last page a wonderful story.
“Esme Garland is a young English woman studying the history of art in New York. She has a well ordered and interesting life until her rich boyfriend Mitchell van Leuvan abandons her when she becomes pregnant. Taking refuge in The Owl bookstore in Manhattan, Esme learns that life, love and the power of stories really can make a difference when all hope is lost.
This is an interesting and witty debut novel, with its quirky array of characters and an abundance of literary references; it caught my attention from the beginning. And even though at times I was slightly irritated by Esme’s naivety, overall, she was well placed to find her own personal fulfilment. Overall, for me, what made the difference was the description of The Owl Bookstore and the people who inhabited its world. I have never been to New York but if I ever do, I would love to find that the shabby chic of a Manhattan bookstore could more than live up to my expectations of The Owl.
I look forward to more books from this new author.
My thanks to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for my digital copy of this book.
“I imagine there are few avid readers who could pass up a book set in a bookstore and the Owl is the type of store many wish would exist on their block.
“The store is narrow, about ten feet across, with a central staircase leading to a mezzanine. There are books on both sides of the stairway, in ever more precarious piles, and it is a hardy customer who will pick her way carefully up the stairs to the dusty stacks beyond. Downstairs is a tumble of books that I sometimes surreptitiously straighten. There are sections labeled with old notices, but they flow into each other in an unstoppable tide, so that history is compromised by mythology leaking into it, mystery books get mixed up with religion, and the feminist section is continually outraged by the steady dribble of erotica from the shelves above. When books do manage to make it to shelves, instead of being in piles near their sections, they are shelved double deep and the attempts at alphabetization are sometimes noticeable, with “A”s and “Z”s serving as bookends to the jumble in the center.” p8
Open from morning to midnight and staffed by an eccentric group of people, including two homeless men, the second hand bookstore is a wonderful setting. While it was center stage I read eagerly, delighted by the laconic owner, George and his enigmatic assistant Luke, content to imagine sitting behind the counter with a book in hand while a succession of customers wandered into the gloom.
Esme is The Bookstore’s protagonist. A British PhD scholarship student at Columbia she falls pregnant to her boyfriend, Mitchell. They have been dating only a couple of months and she is worried what the pregnancy will mean to their relationship if she makes the decision to keep the baby. But before she can tell Mitchell (though it is obvious he suspects) he cruelly dumps her and Esme is left reeling. Choosing to have the baby anyway, Esme knows she will need some extra income so she applies for part time position advertised at the Owl.
Sadly I found Esme less endearing as the story unfolded. The bright, articulate woman we are introduced to at the beginning of the story dissolves into the lovelorn victim of Mitchell’s shallow charms, oblivious to his self serving manipulations. The focus on the on again/off again relationship reduces Esme to a caricature rather than a character and I quickly grew tired of her inane interactions with Mitchell.
Unfortunately there is not really any plot to speak of either aside from the anti-love story and the novel’s ending is ambiguous and unsatisfying. I realised, three quarters of the way through, I cared little about Esme and her pining for Mitchell and was simply waiting to revisit the Owl.
That leaves me in a bit of a quandary, there were elements of this novel I liked, the Owl and its characters obviously and even the writing style, but the almost farcical relationship between Esme and Mitchell was an irritant and in the end I can’t say The Bookstore was any more than OK.”
“It is a sad day when you are only on page two of a new book and you realize that this is not the book for you. I hate it when that happens and unfortunately it that is exactly what happened with this book.
I didn’t enjoy the style it was written. I have been sitting here pondering on how to explain it and I am at a loss for words. It was just strange in a way that made it difficult to finish. There was way to much details given and the way it was delivered ended up making me not care about any of the characters especially Esme.
The characters, well, I just did not like any of them. Most of them were just way to quirky for my taste. Mitchell is just s jerk with no redeeming qualities in him what so ever. I have no clue what Esme’s problem is, she is just not a character I could connect with on any level.
The only thing I liked about this book is the cover. I do think it is quite lovely. Unfortunately this is one of the few books that I just cannot recommend to anyone.