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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Bookstore Sisters


Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

Publication Date: 11/01/2022

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars


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.

My Review

THE BOOKSTORE SISTERS is a beautifully written short story that I wish could be longer. Alice Hoffman's style is reflected throughout with loss, love, and a little magic.

Charming! A deeply resonant novel that readers will savor.

Set in Maine on a quaint Island, we meet two estranged sisters, Isabel and Sophie. Isabel returns to her childhood home to help Sophie with a struggling family bookstore.

From the recipes, books, and delectables, and the quaint setting will pull you in and feel like you are visiting a quaint bookstore and settling in a comfy chair surrounded by books with a warm cup of tea or coffee, a muffin, and a good book.

Isabel wanted to sell the bookstore, and Sophie wanted to keep it. So Isabel moved to New York, and Sophie stayed to run the store.

I loved that Isabel owns a dog walking service and brings Hank, the Labrador, with her to Brinkley Island, and she finds her niece, Violet, who reached out to her for help.

Sophie is laid up with a broken leg, and Violet cannot run the store on her own. Isabel finds herself organizing and cleaning, and they find lots of goodies from the past. I loved the mother's recipes and how they incorporated these into the bookstore.

Rich in character and story. If you enjoyed this one, I highly recommend Viola Shipman's The Recipe Box —a touching tribute to the women and food that unite us and connect our past to the present.

Nostalgic and heartfelt, an emotionally uplifting story of the importance of books, stories, family, food, and community. An enjoyable fall read, and a perfect Amazon First Read pick.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Nov 1, 2022

From the Publisher

When I open a hefty novel, I know I’m essentially moving in. Reading a short story, on the other hand, is a quick getaway, a visit to another world in the space of an afternoon. In Alice Hoffman’s short story, The Bookstore Sisters, readers plunge into a world so vivid that you’ll imagine a salt breeze blowing through your house as you read.

Isabel Gibson has been dreaming of escaping since she was a child: leaping over the barrier of the ocean surrounding Brinkley’s Island. But even after she made it to New York City, she never felt satisfied. When she receives a letter from someone on the island asking for help, she has a chance to find out if crossing back over the water will be a step backward or forward in her life.

Alice Hoffman’s writing transported me as I read Isabel’s story, conjuring the dusty back room of the Once upon a Time Bookshop, the heirloom flowers that climb the walls of Red Rose Cottage, and the lupines that turn the whole island blue in summer. One image, though, sticks with me: Isabel and her sister Sophie as young girls, reading outside by the light of the summer moon until they fall asleep in the grass. I found myself willing Isabel to remember the child she was and the trust she and her sister once shared. In my short visit to Brinkley’s Island, I found a second home.

—Kjersti Egerdahl, Editor

About the Author

Photo Credit: Alyssa Peek

Alice Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Practical Magic series, The Dovekeepers, and The World That We Knew. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages, nominated for multiple awards, and adapted for the screen. She lives in Boston.







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