Title: The Bookseller
Author: Cynthia Swanson
Date finished: 3/8/15
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Pages in book: 336
Stand alone or series: Stand alone, her first novel actually!
Blurb from the cover:
Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .
Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.
Then the dreams begin.
Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.
Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?
As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?
My rating: 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “2015 Debut” square. I had seen this book being promoted in many different places but I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. It’s a hit or miss many times with debut authors, some take a few novels to really hit their stride and others hit it out of the park right away. I have to say this book just floored me. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I haven’t felt so deeply and cried so much while reading a book since I read A Walk To Remember (back in high school I think) and yet the emotions in this book stemmed from a completely different place, the one I connected to most being love and loss of family.
This book was just fascinating. Katharyn and Kitty alternate between the two worlds in which they live, both lives feel so real and yet they are so completely different (they even exist at different points in time) that they can not possibly be connected. At first Kitty is sure that the life Katharyn leads is the dream, but as time goes on she has more and more trouble deciding what is real. She is losing memory of blocks of time, sometimes days, in both worlds. I don’t want to give away the end of the book but both Katharyn and Kitty end up forging one person in the end, reminding each what the other had lost and who they want to want to be as a person overall.
There were some slower parts in the beginning of the book that I found myself struggling through but the last 100 pages of the book I was riveted, you couldn’t tear me away from the story. There were so many emotions in this book; guilt, fear, loss, despair, love, compassion. The amount of feelings that you as the reader obtain from this book is just overwhelming. This was a great book and I can’t wait to see more from this author in the future.
The bottom line: EVERYONE READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY. SO MANY FEELINGS. (P.S. make sure you have a box of tissues handy)