The Bookstore Sisters is a short story I got as part of the Amazon First Reads programme. If you have Amazon Prime membership, each month you can choose from a small selection of free e-books. This short story from Alice Hoffman will be officially available to buy in ebook or audiobook from 1st November. You can order a copy here: The Bookstore Sisters
From the back of the book
From New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes a heartfelt short story about family, independence, and finding your place in the world.
Isabel Gibson has all but perfected the art of forgetting. She’s a New Yorker now, with nothing left to tie her to Brinkley’s Island, Maine. Her parents are gone, the family bookstore is all but bankrupt, and her sister, Sophie, will probably never speak to her again.
But when a mysterious letter arrives in her mailbox, Isabel feels herself drawn to the past. After years of fighting for her independence, she dreads the thought of going back to the island. What she finds there may forever alter her path—and change everything she thought she knew about her family, her home, and herself.
Well I always love a book with a bookshop at its heart and this short story features a wonderful sounding one, The Once Upon a Time bookshop. Isabel’s family owns this shop and she spent many happy hours there with her sister Sophie. Now though, thanks to her late father’s habit of allowing his customers to pretty much borrow the stock, it’s almost bankrupt. Isabel hasn’t been back to her home on Brinkley’s Island or spoken to her sister for years and had no intention of doing so until a letter from her prickly young niece Violet, summons her reluctantly home.
Although Isabel and Sophie’s mother died when they were young, her presence permeates the story, notably in her recipes. I loved the names of some of her bakes: You’ll Feel Better in the Morning Cupcakes, Never Get Lost Cookies, Fall in Love Fruitcake. Would baking these work their magic on Isabel and help her to be reconciled with her sister? Well, you’ll need to read it to find out. Hank the labrador deserves a special mention too just for being a typical dog – non-judgmental and giving unconditional love.
A perfect choice to read in your coffee break, The Bookstore Sisters is a warm short story about how love in its many forms can be the most important thing in the world. It’s about the bonds of family and about finding where you truly belong in the world. Quirky, fun and with a hint of magic, I really enjoyed it.
About the Author
Alice Hoffman is the author of thirty works of fiction, including Practical Magic, The Dovekeepers, Magic Lessons, and, most recently, The Book of Magic. She lives in Boston. Visit her website: http://www.alicehoffman.com