The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson is a a She Reads Books of Spring selection and one I really enjoyed. I have to say my initial attraction to the book was its cover. I always find myself drawn to novels that picture books on them in some way. I grabbed The Bookseller in audio from the library and I’m so glad I did. It’s narrated by Kathe Mazur who I’ve listened to previously. I really enjoy the tone of her voice and the different voices she uses for the characters. All in all it makes for a great listening experience!
It’s 1962 and Kitty and her best friend Frieda own and run a bookshop. Kitty loves running the store and after spending many years in a relationship that didn’t work out she has even somewhat come to accept her life as a single woman. Her life is full enough with her loving parents, Frieda, her cat, the bookshop, and of course books.
But then … the dreams begin. In her dreams it is 1963 and Kitty is Katharyn Anderson. She finds herself very much in love with her husband Lars and is surprised she has three children as well. It appears she lives a fairly affluent life in her dreams – one she has always hoped to have but it only exists when she’s asleep. Yet even in a world seemingly perfect there can be struggles.
Kitty begins to crave this other world which is so different than the one she inhabits when she’s awake. As time passes she finds the line between her dream world and her real world blurring. She becomes more and more confused as she struggles to determine what is real and what is just her imagination. Which world is the real one? Ultimately can Kitty choose which life she wants and if she does what does she sacrifice in doing so?
I really enjoyed The Bookseller. Even in audio it was a page turner for me. I liked the characters and especially the storyline. Alternate worlds always intrigue me. It makes a person wish they could fall asleep and dream up an alternate – and hopefully better – world for themselves. Highly recommended!
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