Sunday, June 28, 2015
Book Review: The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Author: Cynthia Swanson
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Content Alert: A pretty clean read, as far as I remember. Maybe one very PG-rated married sex scene.
Kitty lives a quiet life in Denver in the early 60s. She never married, and she owns a failing bookshop with her best friend Frieda. One night, she goes to sleep and wakes up in a life where she's a suburban housewife known as Katharyn, married to Lars, and the mother of triplets. Katharyn's life is a lot more complicated than Kitty's, and she's both drawn to the richness of it and a bit overwhelmed by it as well. Then she learns that a tragedy has taken place in Katharyn's life that she would do anything to avoid, and the reader can't help but be drawn in by the contrasts between the two lives.
I can't say much about The Bookseller without giving away some big spoilers, but I will say that it was a delightful read for me. I plowed through it on vacation, where I may have sat a little longer than I needed to with my sleeping kids because I didn't want to put the story down. It has a lovely twist that was quite thought-provoking for me, and as a busy mother I understand the pull Kitty feels where she both wants Katharyn's life to be hers and she wants to retain the independence she has as a single woman. The Bookseller would be a fantastic beach read for summer. Just make sure someone else has an eye on the kids.