(Review) The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

Publisher and Publication Date: Hanover Square Press. 2021.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 320.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Historical fiction readers who want to read about civilian life in London during World War II.
Rating: Very good.

Link to Amazon

Link to Goodreads


August 1939.

Grace and Viv are best friends. They move to London to start a new life. They’d lived in Drayton, Norfolk since they were born. They are young women in their early twenties. Grace’s mother died a year ago. A friend of her mother’s, Mrs. Weatherford, lives in London and provides a place for the girls to live. She helps them secure jobs.
Grace has a job at a bookshop. Viv has a job at Harrod’s.
Not long after arriving in London the war begins. In less than a year, the German planes begin bombing London.

My Thoughts:

I’ve read a few comments from other reviewers asking if this is a suitable book for young adults? Yes. It is appropriate.

Several reasons why I love this story:
1. The story is in linear or chronological order. It doesn’t jump back and forth in time.
2. The story’s focus is on the experiences of one group of people during the London Blitz.
3. The primary character is Grace. She is a person of high character and this is remarked about in the story more often than her physical beauty. She is a person who transforms during the story. Her character shines.
4. The story has inner and outer conflicts, but mainly outer conflicts and how the characters respond.
5. Romance is apart of the story (in a small part), but the emphasis is not on it. Romance in a story can overwhelm the structure of it, making other elements pale.
6. Other characters I love: Mrs. Weatherford, Mr. Evans, Colin Weatherford, and George Anderson.
7. The Last Bookshop In London is an examination of what it was like in London during the Blitz. I have wanted a book to reflect on this history and I’m so glad this story has been written.

Themes in The Last Bookshop In London: heroism, war, perseverance, compassion, death, courage, bravery, kindness, suffering, survival, charity, grief, dreams, and romance.


One thought on “(Review) The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

  1. I loved this book as well for all of the reasons you listed. It seems to appeal to a wide variety of readers. I especially appreciated that the romance played a small part in the book – I agree that romance can overpower the rest of the story. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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