THE BOOKSELLER: A Debut Novel ~Cynthia Swanson
“A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel. THE BOOKSELLER follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.” (cover)
THE BOOKSELLLER has a fascinating premise and as it dawns on the reader what is happening in this story, one just needs to keep turning the pages to garner more and more of the concept and how it is going to play out in the end. The lead character is living in Denver, Colorado in 2 different years. Kitty is a single woman who co-owns a bookstore with her best friend Frieda in 1962. Katharyn is married to Lars with 3 young children also residing in Denver in 1963. Katharyn and her family only exists as the perfect family when Kitty goes to bed and begins dreaming.
At first the story is a bit confusing, and one must work with Kitty to figure out what is going on and how Katharyn’s family and life comes to be. At the end of the story, one is helping Katharyn figure out what happened to Frieda and her life, because the bookstore is in need of a boost in energy and funds, so lots of decisions to be made in the “real” life; transitions needed for success.
I very much liked the creative energies in this story and I enjoyed having to figure and guess at what would happen in each of the years and lives examined. What would Katharyn/Kitty do to figure out what she needed, what she was responsible for, and how she would adapt to all the transitions? Only in her dreams?
The precision of the writing was amazing and the details that had to be presented for each life and situation did not go unnoticed and could not be ignored if one was to keep up. I appreciated the skill of the author in accomplishing this task and making her story so intricate. One of my book groups would adore this book and how thoughtfully and carefully it is conceived; not so with my second book group which would not like the precision or the moral thinking.
I found I could not take the book to my waiting room/ reading room events, I needed to stick with it and stick too it or I lost important references and details. A unique read and well written – THE BOOKSELLER
TLC Book Tours sent me and advanced copy for review.
About the Author from the TLC book tours site:
Cynthia Swanson is a writer and a designer of the mid-century modern style. She has published short fiction in 13th Moon, Kalliope, Sojourner, and other periodicals; her story in 13th Moon was a Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and three children. The Bookseller is her first novel. Find out more about Cynthia at her website and connect with her on Facebook.