Wednesday, April 12

Book Review: The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman

Author: Alice Hoffman
Title: The Bookstore Sisters
Genre: Short Story, Magical Realism, Contemporary fiction
Format: ebook
Pages: 36
Published: November 1, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

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.

Another freebie that I picked up from Amazon. Look at that cover! How could I resist? I honestly jumped into this without reading the summary. Took a risk and a gamble (which is a rare thing for me indeed).

Here we follow Isabel who has moved to New York and has nothing to tie her to her old life in Brinkley's Island, Maine. Her parents are both gone, the family bookstore is all but bankrupt, and her sister will probably never talk to her again. A recipe for her to move on with a new life. Things change when a mysterious letter arrives in her mailbox and Isabel is forced and drawn to the past. After years of fighting for her freedom, she reluctantly goes back to that island. What she finds will change everything. 

This was a quick read but it didn't feel like it. Not in a bad way mind you, but this had a lot of depth and character-development. It is a short story you need to take your time least I did.

I really enjoyed watching Isabel and Sophie defrost and, essentially, find themselves and find each other.  

Now, I seen that this is listed as 'fantasy' on some people's shelves. There isn't a thing that is fantasy-like. I also seen 'magical realism' which is a stretch but you can see a tiny smidge of that in a couple parts. I would've liked some more tbh. I think it would've added something extra and nice. 

But yes, this was a nice short story. Some parts I did feel needed to be slightly longer. Instead of 30 something pages....maybe 50? Some parts needed more time. 

In the end, this was a nice people story with some depth. It could've been a hair longer to expend on some scenes and really get the meat of it....but it was nice overall. 3 stars from me. 


Melliane said...

It looks ok even if it could have been more

Carole Rae said...

It really could've been better, but I did enjoy it.

Jen Twimom said...

Yea for short freebies!

Carole Rae said...


Blodeuedd said...

36 is really short