Bloomsbury Girls

by Natalie Jenner

The Bloomsbury Bookstore in London has been a male dominated business for one hundred years. All that changes when three strong women, Evie, Vivien and Grace start working there in post-war London. Evie, was one of the first women to graduate from Cambridge University. When she is overlooked for a research job in favor of a man, she starts working at Bloomsbury books and on the hunt for a rare book she things is there. Vivien is an aspiring writer whose wealthy fiancé has died. She is stuck as a cashier but wants to do more then that at the bookstore. Grace is in an unhappy marriage with a husband who has scars from the war. She has to work at Bloomsbury Books as a secretary to support them and her two sons.

The bookstore is ruled by fifty-one rules set-up by Mr. Dutton, the store manager. Each chapter starts with one of the rules. When Mr. Dutton becomes ill and Evie saves his life, things begin to change. He has to take time off and the women begin to take a more important role in the bookstore. They have progressive ideas and start a literary lunch with Daphne Du Maurier as their first author. They also add more books by women writers and set-up displays that are very popular. However, all of this is temporary when Mr. Dutton returns to work, despite his doctor’s orders.

Evie Stone is a character form the previous novel by Natalie Jenner, The Jane Austen Society. I haven’t read it yet but you don’t have to have read it to read Bloomsbury Girls. This book has romance, real life people from the writing and publishing world in the 1950’s and the literature major in me really liked that aspect of this book. It was kind of slow at times but I was interested in the characters and what would ultimately happen with them. I liked the ending.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a complimentary copy for an honest review.

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