The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
I was provided with a free Digital Review Copy of this book, by NetGalley, but all opinions are my own.
Score: 4/5 Bookmarks
USA Publish Date: July 11, 2019
The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman spoke to me in a special way because I grew up in a bookshop in country Victoria. Even if you didn’t, the author paints a vivid enough picture of the landscape and the characters that you’ll feel like you did.
The book cuts between present day Australia (in 1968) and Auschwitz 24 years prior, telling a backstory that helps us understand how the characters became who they are and how they got there. The story is paced well and I found it very engaging — I ended up reading it all in two sittings.
I’ll warn you that the story is heartbreaking (especially if you’re a mother) and yet it is also heartwarming. Over all it’s a story about new beginnings, finding who you are, and family not needing to be made from blood.
For anyone who's ever had their heart broken, anyone who's ever had their broken heart mended, and anyone who's ever visited a bookshop...
Tom Hope doesn't chase rainbows. He does his best on the farm - he milks the cows, harvests the apples, looks after the sheep - but Tom's been lonely since his wife Trudy left, taking little Peter with her to go join the holy rollers.
Enter Hannah Babel, quixotic smalltown bookseller: the second Jew - and the most vivid person - Tom has ever met. When she asks him to move in, and help her build Australia's most beautiful bookshop, Tom dares to believe they could make each other happy.
But it is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Tom Hope is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.