Author: Jenny Colgan
Narrator: Eilidh Beaton
Audiobook Length: 11 hours 23 minutes
Perfect for the holidays! A brand-new heartwarming Christmas novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner and Christmas at the Island Hotel.
When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.
Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.
At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?
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The Christmas Bookshop is a cozy heart-warming holiday story set in Edinburgh following two sisters, Carmen, and Sofia. Carmen is the main protagonist while Sofia is secondary. The story may mainly follow Carmen’s journey, but the As Carmen is single and has just lost her job, she moves in with her seemingly perfect sister who has three kids and fourth on the way. Carmen has always felt inadequate next to her sister, so she is looking to turn things around. It does not help that Carmen’s new job set up by Sofia it to help turn around the bookshop run by Mr. McCredie.
Carmen and Sofia have a complex relationship so the two of them being together is not easy. Sofia’s children, Phoebe, Pippa, and Jack, all also have complex relationships with Carmen since they are not close to each other. As for Carmen’s journey with the bookshop, I loved those scenes and storyline. I was expecting more with this part of the story, though, considering it is in the title. Carmen’s story also includes some romance with two possible love interests. The first is Blair Phenning, a best-selling author, and the other is Oke, a lecturer. I am glad that this seeming love triangle is not drawn out too much, but I also do not think that there is enough on-page time for it to develop.
This was a nice cozy read about Carmen and her journey to find herself. She is going through a lot on her emotional journey as she has her love life, her family, her living situation, and her romantic side. The different POVs that come up throughout the novel does throw off the focus as I did enjoy them, but it created a confusing scenario about who the reader should focus on. I think the POV would have been better from just Carmen since the story seemed to be meant to be about her. Overall, this story may not have been a favorite, but there were still many likable elements and I look forward to reading more from Colgan in the future.