What’s it about?
In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.
Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.
I bought this book as I usually enjoy books about books. I’d also noticed that the movie was on Netflix and I wanted to read it before watching.
As a book that had been shortlisted for a top book prize I was expecting something brilliant but this book just didn’t do anything for me. I understand Penelope Fitzgerald was quite the writer, having been included in a list of the top 50 greatest writers. Therein lies the problem, as with the 100 books you should read before you die, they don’t suit everybody.
I’m afraid I found it stuffy and dull and my mind would constantly wander. I also couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to open a bookshop in this village anyway. The residents were only out for themselves and just plain spiteful – there’s even a poltergeist to contend with! Florence was up against from day one!
Having said that, there are some funny one-liners but not enough to contrast with the rest which is hard-going, not difficult just tedious. Such a shame, as I so wanted to love and enjoy it.
Since reading, I’ve heard that the movie’s not much cop either but I’ll definitely still watch it, just to see.
Small print for info
No of pages: 176
Publisher: Fourth Estate