The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin is an  exciting, engrossing, hold your breath kind of read. This will grab your attention right from the start and won’t let you go. I read it all in single sitting since I was unable to put it down. It had the entirety of the ‘feels’ in it – grief, happiness, sorrow, love, friendship, family, loss, terror and so on. You will feel it before you are through with the story.

The story is created with portrayals so clear they put you right in the scene. Scenes that will make you extremely upset, make you smile, make you shake with fear, and make you hear the bombs as they drop on London. Martin’s research is always perfect and that again remains constant with this book. In case if you are going to read one book this year – this one should be it. What a great method to celebrate and respect books and the amount they mean to us all somehow.

The Last Bookshop in London By Madeline Martin
The Last Bookshop in London By Madeline Martin

Grace Bennett has always dreamed for moving to London, however feels she has no choice after her bully of an uncle – and his better half – force her to leave the house where she was raised. Even with the thundering’s of battle not too far off, she and her friend Viv are amped up for what’s the future to hold for them. Both Grace and Viv want to be a shop-girl at Harrod’s, but just Viv has a letter of proposal – because of Grace’s awful uncle. Without the reference, Grace can’t be recruited at Harrod’s. That really ends up being perhaps the best thing ever happen to her – however she doesn’t understand it at that point.

Grace and Viv took a room for rent from the best friend of Grace’s dead mom. Mrs. Weatherford is an awesome character. During the first world war she lost her husband and now the war is approaching again. Mrs. Weatherford is a funny, loving, bright, caring women who dotes on her only son, Colin. Colin is also a great character and gentle soul. He has long been friends with both Grace and Viv.

Since Grace can’t find a job without a reference, Mrs. Weatherford help grace in getting one by browbeats the owner of Primrose Hill Books. Mr. Percival Evans hire Grace as his assistant. Grace is somewhat unhappy working in the dusty, disordered shop. However, she can manage it for half a year until Mr. Evans will write her recommendation letter. Grace is accustomed to maintaining her uncle’s a lot bigger business and embarks to clean and put together the bookshop – and perhaps acquire more clients.

The only issue she has is that she isn’t a reader or book lover. But, she is a great organizer and sales representative. All things considered, she isn’t a reader until a tall, attractive, calm man named George really gives her a book to read. It takes her some time to begin – not until after he’s already deployed. However, the gift he left her changes her entire life.

As the war starts, those Grace loves start to leave for the fight to come. Will they return? Grace doesn’t have a clue, however she realizes she needs to do her own little part. While her friend Viv joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service – a part of the British Army), Grace realized she was unable to proceed to leave Mrs. Weatherford in isolation since Colin had also deployed. So, Grace kept working at the bookshop until she just felt she needed to accomplish more and elected to be an ARP Warden (Air Raid Precaution).

While WWII is the foundation of this book, the genuine story is Grace and how she makes her mark. Grace probably saw as much death, sorrow, and carnage as those on the front lines, while working at ARP. Her work was a risky and frightening one, and she developed into the challenge with more bravery and courage than most men would have shown. During her days, she carried some happiness to those caught in war-torn London by reading to them and sharing her newfound love of books. While in the nights, she patrolled her sector – alongside her partner Stokes. Helping to save London and her people.

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin was an exceptional novel and I can definitely recommend it. It is such a meaningful and deep read that I simply realize you’ll adore it as much as I did.

Also Read: Rule Of Wolves: By Leigh Bardugo

Book Review Podcast (The Last Bookshop in London By Madeline Martin)