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The Bookseller

by Cynthia Swanson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7454523,309 (3.61)13
"A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel that will keep you turning pages into the early hours, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who wrestles to reconcile her daily life as a single bookstore owner with the alternate reality she suddenly begins to dream about each night, in which she is a happily-married wife and mother"--… (more)
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» See also 13 mentions

English (44)  Italian (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I really loved this book. Both worlds were intriguing, with fleshed out characters, and both had their upsides and downsides. As the MC's dreams become more involved and her memory losses increase, the suspense of wondering where she'd end up kept me reading late into the night. I can't remember the last time I read a book in just three days. It was engrossing and sweet with a strong character arc, and the author deftly ties the two worlds together in a plausible and satisfying ending. ( )
  WriterChris | Oct 5, 2021 |
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

I'm going to start by saying that I am a little disappointed. I picked this book because the blurb sounded interesting and it was a Goodreads Choice award nominee. All in all I liked the book, but it was a bit boring and repetitive and confusing. That twist at the end though was great, I didn't see that coming at all actually, I thought that was going to go a whole different direction. ( )
  starslight86 | Jul 20, 2021 |
What a wonderful story and the author's imagination exceeded the amazing imagination of Kitty/Katharyn, the main character! The back and forth between her real life and dream life was beautifully written ---- what IS reality? The reader is left with a mystery right up to the ending...perfect! ( )
  nyiper | Feb 3, 2021 |
Just finished reading this novel. Wonderfully written and captivating. Will definitely look into reading more of her books!!! 9 out 10 ! ( )
  RavinScarface | Dec 13, 2020 |
This book is like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Kitty Miller is a single thirty-something independent woman living in Denver in the early 1960s. She and her best friend Frieda own Sisters bookstore in a part of town that used to be vibrant. One night she goes to sleep as always and has a vivid dream of living another life as a happily married wife and mother Katharyn Andersson. This dream recurs often - picking up in different spots, though always in the same time of year. She begins to piece together her role: mother of triplets, one of whom is autistic, wife to Lars, living in a contemporary house with housekeeper Alma. The author does a good job of conveying the uncertainty and confusion of trying to understand all this. When Kitty wakes, it is business as usual with her bookshop and her lonely, routine spinster life with her cat, Frieda and her parents. She does some investigating trying to find out more about Lars, their home address, his business, but all turn up empty. The dreams gradually increase and also begin to blur lines between waking and sleeping and suddenly the pendulum swings: which life is reality? Both are so convincing. As the narrator remarks: "We remember so little of our lives, really, insofar as the finer parts go." 211. This is an interesting look at close calls and what-ifs and the multiple forking paths our lives take, seemingly without our notice or consent. Evocative of It's a Wonderful Life, which the book humorously mentions! Unfortunately, timing is everything and having just read the Double Bind, I felt like I needed something more straight-forward and the mind game was more distracting than gratifying. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cynthia Swansonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mazur, KatheNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Trust your happiness and the richness of your life at this moment.  It is as true and as much yours as anything else that ever happened to you.
—Katherine Anne Porter, Letters of Katherine Anne Porter
Dedication
For my parents, Dennis and Audrey Fisher, with love and gratitude.
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This is not my bedroom.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel that will keep you turning pages into the early hours, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who wrestles to reconcile her daily life as a single bookstore owner with the alternate reality she suddenly begins to dream about each night, in which she is a happily-married wife and mother"--

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Average: (3.61)
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