The Mayfair Bookstore by Eliza Knight has stolen my heart and I don’t want it back. Both main characters are so beautifully relatable.

Nancy, as a writer…

“If I married him, I could go about town in the latest fashions, ride in fancy cars and dine nightly at the Ritz, but I’d much rather have my mind tingle in delight of someone with a modicum of intelligence than a bursting purse.”

…sigh…yes, me too. I still long for more (of them, not more intelligent) intelligent people to talk with. I’m always searching for new acquaintances. It’s a big part of why I blog about books. It’s a cry in the dark for conversation.

“So often in our family I felt like the odd woman out. A voice of reason? I’m not so certain, but at the least, a varying voice on absolutes.”

I’ve always felt like an outsider. I suppose everyone does.

“So often I felt like an imposter in my own skin, and here was a reminder that I was not simply a woman playing at being a writer, I was a writer. A published author. Warmth bloomed in my chest, a sense of belonging, of hope.”

How wonderful would that be to be published? When someone reads my work, likes or comments, I feel so much of that belonging, that hope. My words in a bottle have reached another human!

And then Lucy, as bibliophile…

“It was a dream come true every day to help shape the home libraries of private collectors, picking out amazing books that some clients would appreciate, covet even, while visitors to their homes might only gaze admiringly at the spines and wonder what they cost. Rare books to a curator or collector were a gem, but to an outsider, they were a status symbol of the elite.”

This one has me stumped. Why would you have someone else collect books for you? My collection is not of prized or rare editions, it’s all books I’ve read and annotated myself over the years. If someone’s eyes glance over my shelves, I’m thrilled. Will they find something they have read? Will they want to talk about it? Did they see something that interests them? They are welcome to borrow it! What do my shelves say about me?

“Rich history hung like magic in the London air and whispered to her like faint conversations from the past, redolent of chic perfume and pipe smoke.”

I just loved the sound of this sentence in my head. I’ve always been too timid for travel overseas. Planes are just not my thing. But maybe someday.

“…Lucy admitted a deep attachment to both Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice. Oliver remarked, with a raised eyebrow, how summarily different they were. But Lucy argued not at all, because both inflicted a deep emotional toll upon their readers.”

I’d agree with the deep emotional toll from reading Frankenstein. That poor, poor creature. Created and thrust into the world, his own creator horrified by his existence. That reminds me…I should read that again!

“I thought about being a writer, or maybe an editor at a publishing house. But in the end, I realized my passion is all about reading and enjoying books as opposed to writing or fixing them.”

My heart resonated with this. Sure, I dabble here and there. I’d love to write more articles, possibly even submit them for publication, but really, I’m a reader. I write only to pass on the information and joy I find in the books I read, to connect with another person over our common interests or discuss differences in opinion, hear other people’s points of view. If I could do this in person, over coffee (with a touch of whiskey in it), I’d be in heaven.

I’m not quite finished reading this delicious book, so you’ll hear more from me about it tomorrow!