Thursday 30 May 2024

BLOG TOUR: The Bookshop Ladies - Faith Hogan

Bestselling Irish writer, Faith Hogan, has created another gripping saga of friendship, betrayal and secrets in this story of a widow in search of answers to a shocking confession by her dying husband.

Joy Blackwood has no idea why her French art dealer husband has left a valuable painting to a woman called Robyn Tessier in Ballycove, a small town on the west coast of Ireland, but she is determined to find out.

She arrives in Ballycove to find that Robyn runs a rather chaotic and unprofitable bookshop. She is shy, suffering from unrequited love for dashing Kian, and badly in need of advice on how to make the bookshop successful.

As Joy becomes entangled in the daily dramas of Ballycove, uncovering the secrets behind her husband's painting grows increasingly challenging. When she finally musters the courage to confront the truth, her revelation sends shockwaves through the tight-knit community she's grown to love.


What did I think?

Faith Hogan is one of my favourite authors and I didn't think I could love one of her Ballycove books more than I already do and then she goes and writes one set in a bookshop.  As well as books, it is of course filled with drama, secrets and the wonderful Ballycove community spirit.

I had tears in my eyes before I had even finished the dramatic prologue as Joy's life changed forever in the blink of an eye.  Not only does Joy have her own grief to deal with, she is rocked by a confession her husband made with his final breath.  Joy leaves her home in Paris and sets of to Ballycove in Ireland to hand deliver a painting that her husband has bequeathed in his will.

Joy is rightfully angry but her anger vanishes almost instantly the moment she steps inside the bookshop owned by Robyn Tessier.  Robyn assumes that Joy has come to volunteer for work and Joy is too polite (and a little shellshocked) to set Robyn straight.  It's not ideal to start a friendship with secrets and it gets harder to find the right time to be honest as time goes on, but I could tell that Joy's heart was in the right place and that Ballycove had a firm grip of Joy's heart.

The wonderful community of Ballycove once again plays a huge part in the story and it was lovely to see some old faces that I have come to know and love over the years.  The Bookshop Ladies is a standalone novel though, so you don't need to have read any of the other books to enjoy it.

A book set in a bookshop is a book lover's dream and The Bookshop Ladies is a wonderfully heartwarming and engaging read.  There are books aplenty to delight the bookworms among us but it's the characters who leave a lasting impression on the reader in this very highly recommended read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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