A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family’s legacy…and her future.
Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family’s history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope’s last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.
Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she’s lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…
I enjoyed reading The Bookshop of Secrets, set in a small town in Minnesota on the shore of Lake Superior. Hope is a survivor, and she is dealing with the consequences of long term abuse and trauma. She is slow to trust, and is determined to fulfil her late mother’s wish from many years ago which is to solve the family mystery surrounding lost treasure.
Hope has changed her name, and she is the mysterious newcomer who arrives in the small town of Winishin Falls looking for old books she claims belonged to her mother. The valuable books were supposed to be put aside in a safe place. Her mother’s friend, who was looking after the books, has passed. The friend’s next of kin is an elderly brother who owns the book store in their home town and is fast losing his memory.
Hope’s plan is to find the missing books, solve the family mystery, and leave town ASAP. Getting attached to the town or the people is not something she can allow to happen. Hope doesn’t factor in meeting Ronan, the grandson of the book store owner, who offers to help Hope with her search. Ronan has his own secrets, and a prosthetic lower leg from a tragic work accident.
Hope and Ronan are drawn to each other despite their initial reservations, and there is potential for their developing feelings to become something more if they can overcome their past and their fears. Hope, in particular, has a challenging journey to travel from brokenness to healing and faith in a God who loves her unconditionally. The story is not a lighthearted read because it’s dealing with significant emotional issues.
I loved the mystery in the story, and how it played out in a way that challenged both Hope and Ronan to explore their family history and deep roots in Winishin Falls. I recommend The Bookshop of Secrets for contemporary romance readers who like romantic mysteries with emotional depth that address heavy issues with a relevant faith element in the story.
Many thanks to the author for an advanced reader copy.