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Ebook and Paperback Book Giveaway: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

(63 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Dec-14 10:20:52

Esme Garland arrived in Manhattan with a scholarship to study art history at Columbia University. When she falls in love with New York blue-blood Mitchell van Leuven, with his penchant for all things erotic, life seems to be clear sailing, until a thin blue line signals stormy times ahead.

Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he abruptly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all. Stubbornly determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore to make ends meet.

This week we're giving away 50 paperback copies and 50 ebook copies of The Bookstore by Deborah Meylor. Click here to find out more and apply for a free copy.

Don't forget, if you're lucky enough to receive a free copy, we do ask that you tell us what you think about it in the thread below, or write a review here.

This giveaway is sponsored by Bloomsbury reader.

iseenodust Mon 22-Dec-14 10:59:10

I've applied as keen to read. The closing time though was showing as 10am today but am hopeful as no-one else commented on here. fsmile

TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 22-Dec-14 15:33:06

Hello, this giveaway has now closed. We'll be in touch with the winners shortly. Thanks to everyone who applied.

ohlittlepea Sun 28-Dec-14 06:58:57

Mine arrived yesterday, a couple of chapters in and interesting so far. I love the owl, think Mitchell is an arse and am not sure if I like the main character or not yet smile... Intrigued tho smile

MrsRedWhite214 Sun 28-Dec-14 17:54:41

Mitchell is definitely an arse. Halfway through but hoping he's not around at the end!

ohlittlepea Sun 28-Dec-14 21:15:43

Oh yes..Mitchell is an arse...I've just finished the important scene in the high ceilinged cafe! Oh no! ...bit lost with all the art references, am hoping some of it sinks in so I can sound more intelligent at dinner parties smile

MrsRedWhite214 Mon 29-Dec-14 14:34:53

Finished this in two days, a great book for the holidays!

The book is written in a very accessible style; quite chatty and light so it's a nice easy read. Any book about books, book shops and people who loves books will automatically appeal to me. Add that to a story about a woman deciding that she doesn't need a man to support her and it sounds like the ideal book for me.

Esme is a strong character who wants to make it on her own. She is not faultless; showing a weaker side when others take advantage of her trusting nature. She struggles to stay strong at times. Overall she is a lovely character who you can easily relate to.

A great debut novel about love, family and friendship.

ohlittlepea Tue 30-Dec-14 22:31:05

Finished smile

I liked the setting of this book and felt the characters within it were well written. It's a quick read but I did find the art references a little overdone at times, I'm more into literature so understood those references more easily.
The plot although a little cliche kept me interested. I found the characters of GEorge, Luke and Stella most likeable and I despised Mitchell from the start!
I think it's a fair book for a first time author, it did feel a little rushed in places. I would read another book by the same author as I find her style engaging.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Thu 01-Jan-15 18:48:47

Thank you for the free copy!

I enjoyed the book, I wasn't expecting Mitchell to keep turning up throughout the book, which kept me on my toes as the relationship developed. It's clear the author knows her stuff and there were far too many art and literature references than I could have looked up to make sure I understood them, so I had to read in ignorance for much of it. However, it was a bit lighter reading than I was expecting and not as gripping as I would have liked. But it had more depth than a chick lit. I was waiting for something to develop with Luke, so I guess there's room for another instalment.

FiveShelties Fri 02-Jan-15 22:46:17

Thank you so much for the free copy and I sorry to have to write that I did not enjoy this one at all, and struggled to finish it. The characters were quite lightweight or ridiculous and I just did not care what happened to any of them. I felt the art/literature references did not add to the book and I could not decide if it was an attempt to move the book from Chick Lit to something more or perhaps I just missed the point completely!

Thislittlekitten Sun 04-Jan-15 21:11:46

I agree with the above poster.

I did not enjoy the book. It was to lightweight for me.

I could not sympathize with Esme, I found her annoying.

The references I felt were out if place in the type of book that it was.

Sometimes it felt like I was reading about a life the auther wanted to live herself. The characters and events felt straight out of a fantasy of hers.

Enjoyable perhaps as a holiday read.

smella Mon 05-Jan-15 21:38:54

Just finished this. This was standard Chick Lit with a few art references thrown in to try to make it more highbrow. It didn't fool me though. Esme and Mitchell were very unlikeable characters and I didn't feel like the story really went anywhere. The end was inconclusive, which left it open for a sequel. Please, no...

StickChildNumberTwo Wed 07-Jan-15 00:11:29

Being in the midst of ttc hell I really didn't want to like this book (accidentally pregnant after one unprotected shag is really not what I want to read about at the moment) but I warmed to it. Wanted to slap Esme for her utter stupidity, Mitchell was obviously an arse from the beginning, but there was enough else going on to keep me interested. Hasn't convinced me I want to live in NYC though.

Shaler Wed 07-Jan-15 23:06:22

Thank you Mumsnet for my copy of the book.

I found the book quite compelling. I thought it would be fairly predictable but there are some unpredictable moments and a particularly harrowing bit that really struck a chord and made it more than mere "chick-lit" for me.

I love how the author captures what books mean to a book-lover, the joy of reading, the escape. The descriptions of places are evocative and vivid and the bookstore and the eccentric group of characters that frequent it are particularly charming. Having said that I expected to love the book more than I did. There were bits of it that really grated. In some ways, I really liked Esme's character, particularly as she is so determined not to give up and go home. Having spent a year living abroad I could identify with her adapting to life in a new city and embracing a somewhat different culture (there are some funny moments highlighting the great British/American language divide). A far from perfect heroine, she is intelligent but rather naive and so it is easy for others to take advantage of her trusting nature (something that reminded me uncomfortably of my younger self). Sometimes she really annoyed me though - I could not believe she allowed Mitchell to get away with some of the things he said to her, let alone did!

Then there's Mitchell. I could see how Esme would initially be attracted to him but given just how obviously manipulative he is, I couldn't quite see how such an intelligent girl would come to love him! Nor why his many issues and cruel nature don't have her running for the hills! We get so little insight into his character and, in particular, I would have liked to hear more from Anastasia.

Another unpredictable and surprising thing about the book was the way it ended so abruptly. I have pondered this for while and now it makes sense to me, being pretty much a snapshot of Esme's life during her pregnancy but I would have liked to know more.

Haffdonga Fri 09-Jan-15 13:17:21

Thanks for the book Mumsnet. But actually nobody has emailed me to tell me I was a lucky winner or where to review the book - I hope here is OK.

I enjoyed it in a rather forgettable sort of way. The story of Esme falling for and pregnant to the wealthy and good looking Wrong Man is as old as time, but Meyler's easy to read, descriptive style makes the story rich with enjoyable colour and character. I have never been to New York but Meyler's depicitions of the setting, both its good and bad, make me feel familiar with the city. The description of Esme's first desperate weeks of single motherhood were especially resonant.

Somehow though, I finished the book feeling a little fobbed off. Meyler chooses to end the story with Esme's future and happiness still uncertain, realisitically so, and I was comfortable with that. But through the plot there are several hints at more complex and interesting developments that are not only unresolved but are left completely unexplored. For example, Esme mentions several times that she doesn't want to tell her mother she is pregnant. Later her mother has been told and comes out to support her with the baby. So what went on between them? How did she tell her mother? How did her mother react? What did Esme feel about it? Likewise Esme's relationships with Mitchell and Luke, although both believably 'open-ended' don't give us quite enough depth of information to explore either characters' motives or to care quite enough about their outcomes. There is a feeling that the editor's knife cut too deeply and Meyler chose to depict a broader cast of bookstore staff and customers, rather than allowing us more insight into the characters who are plot rather than backdrop.

I hope Meyler writes more and would definitely read her next novel. I also hope that one day I go to New York. smile

Coppernob Sat 10-Jan-15 16:38:55

I received a free ebook copy of this. I'm ploughing my way through it but not enjoying it much. Is Esme really as naive and as much of a door mat as she comes across? Surely someone with her brains and intelligence would have a bit more about her and stand up to the obnoxious Mitchell.

The synopsis of the book made it sound more interesting than it is. I'll finish reading it but am glad I hadn't paid out money for it.

Baconsarnie Sun 11-Jan-15 20:04:22

I've just finished this (thank you for my e-copy!), and found it enjoyable but lightweight. Nothing wrong with that, but the novel struggled to find its tone. At times, as previous posters have mentioned, it came across as chick lit dressed up as more serious literature by adding lots of art references. Still, the plot bounced along at a great pace, and it captured New York very well. Mitchell was an arse, and I found it difficult to understand why Esme, supposedly a strong, intelligent woman, would put up with him and his casual cruelties. I wanted to know more about Anastasia, and Luke and Stella. I liked the inconclusive ending, and it made a sequel likely. I think a second instalment would work well, now we've got the measure of the characters and Esme's world.

MooseyMoo Mon 12-Jan-15 18:01:20

Thanks for my copy! I really enjoyed reading the book. Loved the Owl and could relate to living abroad and feeling a little lost sometimes. Esme seemed a strong character but caught up in the whirlwind of Mitchell. I really wished she just could say No to him. When I finished the book I said out loud 'Is that it?' It felt like it had ended so another book could be written.

Shepthefrog Thu 15-Jan-15 11:13:43

Thank you for my free copy! I really wanted to love this book as the synopsis sounded wonderful and i couldn't wait to read it but couldn't get on with it at all. I struggled to understand how Esme ever got together with Mitchell as he was baffling and his behaviour was mostly just cruel. I loved the Owl and the characters there and would have liked more of them and a bit more of their back stories. I found Esme disappointing as the main character and just couldn't get past her behaviour and relationship with Mitchell. In the end I skim read to the finish. Really disappointed by this book.

iseenodust Sat 17-Jan-15 12:18:29

Finished it thank you.

Yes it's chick lit with added cultural references but in a cold week in January when I'm half into hibernation it hit the spot. This made me smile; "I gave Mitchell a Paddington stare over the top of my menu. He might see it as the furious stare of a human being..."

Mitchell & family are obnoxious but The Owl 'gang' are lovely. The author creates a sense of community with credible characters. (Don't know why but it came to mind this was better than that created in A Casual Vacancy.)

In the chick lit genre I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. I wouldn't pick it for a bookclub.

MrsSquirrel Sat 17-Jan-15 14:31:10

Thanks for my copy, I enjoyed the book.

I love New York City, so was very happy to spend a few days imagining it.

Unlike some of the others on this thread, I liked the art references in the book. I don't think they were added extras to make the book more high brow. They showed Esme's emotions and how she uses her imagination.

Yes, Mitchell was an arse. I spent the whole book hoping she would dump him. Esme is ruled by her heart, convinced that she loves him, no matter how badly he treats her. That resonated with me, because I have a good friend who is similarly intelligent and highly educated with an equally unsuitable partner.

OK, it's not Great Literature or anything, but a good bit of escapism for a cold week in January.

ElviraCondomine Sun 18-Jan-15 23:34:43

There is some truly beautiful writing in this book. Unfortunately I came away feeling it was wasted on some thoroughly unpleasant characters. I found it impossible to believe how little Esme thought about the impact of a baby on her PhD, especially the funding - it simply didn't ring true. Opportunities like that very rarely come along in life and it was almost a non-issue.

Mitchell is so awful that I found it hard to understand why she would ever have fallen for him. His family was so stereotypical I felt they lacked any interest (I watch a hell of a lot of US tv and am very familiar with the type.) The book shop was more interesting but still didn't totally grab me.

What just about rescued it for me was some exquisite observation, and a few turns of phrase that really wowed me.

RunningGingerFreckleyThing Mon 19-Jan-15 19:05:22

I liked the book. Easy to read. Agree with Haffdonga, that there were parts of the plot left unexplored. The ending was quite open which I didn't like but that is personal preference rather than a poor book as I like everything wrapped up and finished off at the end.
Thanks for the book!

rachelkanga Mon 19-Jan-15 20:18:07

I am struggling to read this book as not much is really happening. I dislike Mitchell and of course his rich unsupportive parents. Esme is supposed to be well educated but why would she fall for this fool in the first place. I will finish it though and move on to another book which will hopefully be more gripping.

Babelange Fri 23-Jan-15 13:10:02

There were some things I liked about the book, already mentioned above (the Owl community), the art references, some of the griminess of day-to-day living in the metropolis. Mostly, it was very nicely written. What didn't chime with me was that I had no empathy with the protagonist Esme and I felt a bit prudish about some of the sex in the book. I am usually selective about what books I apply for and this one did at moments make me wonder what I was thinking of! (I am old enough to be Esme's mother blush and there simply not enough about her to satisfy me.) Mitchell seemed to be a construct of Sex and the City mashed with a number of other stereotypes (and the scene when she goes to the Hamptons or wherever is reminiscent of a movie!)
If you've read 'The Gold Finch' then this is another book which has an excursion into a storage facility... Not a particularly insightful comment I know.
In fairness I thought that the book was well-written, accessible with quite a wide-appeal and I enjoyed it more than Sarah Walters' latest which I read in tandem. Luckily neither will grace my shelves (the former an e-book and the latter a library book). I feel a bit of a sucker for punishment - I am now reading 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing'.

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