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“The Bookseller's Secret is a delight from start to finish, a literary feast any booklover will savor!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code ARISTOCRAT, AUTHOR, BOOKSELLER, WWII SPY—A THRILLING NOVEL ABOUT REAL-LIFE LITERARY ICON NANCY MITFORD FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A PARIS APARTMENT In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried “The Bookseller's Secret is a delight from start to finish, a literary feast any booklover will savor!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code ARISTOCRAT, AUTHOR, BOOKSELLER, WWII SPY—A THRILLING NOVEL ABOUT REAL-LIFE LITERARY ICON NANCY MITFORD FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A PARIS APARTMENT In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics. Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay. Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present… “With a vivid cast of unforgettable characters, Gable expertly and cleverly delivers wit, humor, and intrigue on every page. What a delightful escape.” —Susan Meissner, bestselling author of  The Nature of Fragile Things “A triumphant tale that highlights the magic of bookshops and literature to carry people through even the darkest days of war.” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday


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“The Bookseller's Secret is a delight from start to finish, a literary feast any booklover will savor!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code ARISTOCRAT, AUTHOR, BOOKSELLER, WWII SPY—A THRILLING NOVEL ABOUT REAL-LIFE LITERARY ICON NANCY MITFORD FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A PARIS APARTMENT In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried “The Bookseller's Secret is a delight from start to finish, a literary feast any booklover will savor!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code ARISTOCRAT, AUTHOR, BOOKSELLER, WWII SPY—A THRILLING NOVEL ABOUT REAL-LIFE LITERARY ICON NANCY MITFORD FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A PARIS APARTMENT In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics. Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay. Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present… “With a vivid cast of unforgettable characters, Gable expertly and cleverly delivers wit, humor, and intrigue on every page. What a delightful escape.” —Susan Meissner, bestselling author of  The Nature of Fragile Things “A triumphant tale that highlights the magic of bookshops and literature to carry people through even the darkest days of war.” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday

30 review for The Bookseller's Secret

  1. 4 out of 5

    L.A.

    The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable contains some serious research that opened up a whole new catalyst for WWII that I haven't read. It is a dual timeline from the 1940's and present times. ...."this is not a biography reflection of the spectacular personality and wit of one of the most underrated authors of the twentieth century...." With letters and interviews this book provides leaps and bounds of information based on the life literary icon Nancy Mitford, author of "The Pursuit of Love" The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable contains some serious research that opened up a whole new catalyst for WWII that I haven't read. It is a dual timeline from the 1940's and present times. ...."this is not a biography reflection of the spectacular personality and wit of one of the most underrated authors of the twentieth century...." With letters and interviews this book provides leaps and bounds of information based on the life literary icon Nancy Mitford, author of "The Pursuit of Love" released in 1945. What is an incredible take on the book is the present time character Katie is summoned 80 years later as one of her biggest fans and ventures into the bookshop Heywood Hills that Nancy worked in with the hopes of finding her missing manuscript. Nancy's story during the war was famous for helping refugees escape fascism and hiding them away in Rutland Gate. After her husband left her broke, she began a career in a bookstore while the owner fought in the war. "...magic of bookshops and literature..." Her career grows by leaps and bounds as a writer and she falls in love with a Colonel. Their love affair expands decades and has some intricate vibes. One of Nancy's pet peeves was her 5 famous sisters in a secret society known for their very political and controversial views. Katie discovers there are missing years of Nancy's life, as well as a manuscript mentioned in the letters she finds. The storyline revolves around finding information to write a book about Nancy's life and why those years are important to fill in. Well-done, and such an interesting view about this famous author. The research is extensive and impressive with a wealth of information at the end of the book about the characters mentioned in the book and their lives. The book articulates present characters with an interesting connection to the past. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    This story is driven by dialogue. I am on the opposite spectrum of that, I prefer less rather than more dialogue. Between the breaks from the dialogue, there are some descriptions of the characters, who is who, how they’ve met, and such, but I didn’t find it compelling. I wasn’t able to get attached to any character. It is a dual timeline with one heroine being fan of Nancy Mitford’s writing. While visiting London, she stumbles upon a bookstore where Nancy Mitford worked during WWII. There are so This story is driven by dialogue. I am on the opposite spectrum of that, I prefer less rather than more dialogue. Between the breaks from the dialogue, there are some descriptions of the characters, who is who, how they’ve met, and such, but I didn’t find it compelling. I wasn’t able to get attached to any character. It is a dual timeline with one heroine being fan of Nancy Mitford’s writing. While visiting London, she stumbles upon a bookstore where Nancy Mitford worked during WWII. There are some interesting aspects to this story and the premise is what attracted me to this story. If you like dual timeline stories and brimming with dialogue, then you may find it interesting. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pam Jenoff

    This book fictionalizes the story of Nancy Mitford, the socialite turned novelist, who during World War II took over a London bookshop and became involved with a French resistance fighter. The story is wrapped in the mystery of a. missing Mitford manuscript 80 years later. Fun (and what a great cover!). This will not be out until August but well worth the wait!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I’ve only read one of Michelle Gable’s books before THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET, but I know for sure, this won’t be my last one! She hooked me from the very first page and never let me go! Michelle sure knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat while reading and I love when an author does that to me. THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET is the story of two women who are living in two different timelines. The twists and turns just keep coming. So much so, that you won’t be able to put THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET I’ve only read one of Michelle Gable’s books before THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET, but I know for sure, this won’t be my last one! She hooked me from the very first page and never let me go! Michelle sure knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat while reading and I love when an author does that to me. THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET is the story of two women who are living in two different timelines. The twists and turns just keep coming. So much so, that you won’t be able to put THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET until the very end. My emotions were all over the place while reading and as soon as I was finished, I immediately checked on Goodreads for more of her books! THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET fictionalizes the story of Nancy Mitford, the socialite who becomes a novelist. She takes over a London bookshop and becomes involved with a French resistance fighter during World War II. I learned a lot about the Mitford Sisters while reading this story, who I knew nothing about. Overall, THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET is a book I can say nothing but fantastic things about. There is so much heart in Michelle’s writing that I was left with a huge smile on my face and my heart, very happy. All of the characters are very interesting and believable, so much so that I felt as if I’ve known them for a long time. I look forward to reading Ms. Gable’s previous books that I haven’t gotten to yet as well as her future ones. There is so much going on in this story, but Michelle does a wonderful job of weaving all the pieces together. All of the characters will have you feeling sad and then smiling on the same page. Once you finish devouring this story, you are going to want to tell everyone you know about this awesome book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Graydon House-Harlequin through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joan Happel

    This is an intriguing novel set in London and told in the dual timelines of the 1940s and today. In 1940, writer Nancy Mitford is broke and at a standstill in her writing career so, she agrees to work at the Heywood Hill Bookshop while she figures out what to do next with her life. In the present day, writer Katie Cabot is suffering from writer’s block as well as a breakup with her long-term boyfriend. Katie travels to London at the invitation of a good friend. She has always loved the writings This is an intriguing novel set in London and told in the dual timelines of the 1940s and today. In 1940, writer Nancy Mitford is broke and at a standstill in her writing career so, she agrees to work at the Heywood Hill Bookshop while she figures out what to do next with her life. In the present day, writer Katie Cabot is suffering from writer’s block as well as a breakup with her long-term boyfriend. Katie travels to London at the invitation of a good friend. She has always loved the writings of Nancy Mitford and when she meets the dashing Simon Bailey, she is quickly caught up in his pursuit of a possible Mitford missing memoir. Part historical fiction and part literary thriller with a touch of romance thrown in, The Bookseller’s Secret is an absorbing read with the star being Nancy Mitford. One of the notorious Mitford sisters, famous for their controversial political ties and alliances, Nancy’s writing career took off when she wrote a novel based on herself and her family. She actually did spend part of WWII working at the Heywood Hill Bookshop. There are also delightful cameos from some of the famous writers of the day like the sharp-tongued Evelyn Waugh. Well-researched and intricately plotted, this is great novel to add to the WWII historical fiction novels being published now. If you are not familiar with Nancy Mitford’s books, or the intriguing Mitford family, this is a great place to start. Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for the e-ARC

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable presents a story that jumps between London during WWII and more current time period. In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford (aristocrat, author, bookseller, WWII spy) is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, she is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controv The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable presents a story that jumps between London during WWII and more current time period. In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford (aristocrat, author, bookseller, WWII spy) is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, she is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics. Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay. Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

  7. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Full disclosure: I have never read a Nancy Mitford book. Reading this new release from Michelle Gable has persuaded me to put her first bestseller The Pursuit of Love on my TBR list. In this fictional account based on real events, we have a front row seat to Nancy Mitford's WW II experience. She was in a writing slump and at loose ends after doing some spy work on "the Frogs" for the British and shared her literary largesse with the Heywood Hill Bookshop. Parallel to the Nancy Mitford narrative Full disclosure: I have never read a Nancy Mitford book. Reading this new release from Michelle Gable has persuaded me to put her first bestseller The Pursuit of Love on my TBR list. In this fictional account based on real events, we have a front row seat to Nancy Mitford's WW II experience. She was in a writing slump and at loose ends after doing some spy work on "the Frogs" for the British and shared her literary largesse with the Heywood Hill Bookshop. Parallel to the Nancy Mitford narrative is that of Katharine (Katie) Cabot, an American writer who is also in a writing drought and decides to visit an old college friend in London. Katie had once published a dissertation on Nancy Mitford and she soon sniffs out a mystery to be solved in Nancy's old stomping grounds in Mayfair. And speaking of Mayfair, in reviewing the ARCS I have downloaded for 2022 I discovered another book about Nancy Mitford that I have queued up: The Mayfair Bookshop: A Novel. Before I open that one up, I intend to read at least one Nancy Mitford novel. Thank you to Graydon and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deacon Tom F

    Pleasant Story 3 1/2 STARS. Ithought that this book was a good example of historical fiction. The story was engaging and the characters were well developed. The WWII facts were accurate. Yet, I struggled with the timeframes. Lightly recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    I received a free digital publisher's advance review copy, via Netgalley. Nancy Mitford, author and eldest of the famed Mitford sisters, has been dead for 48 years. And yet there are two novels coming out featuring Nancy Mitford, each of which is a dual-narrative novel with the other storyline involving a contemporary American female protagonist and a setting in the bookshop in London where Nancy Mitford worked during World War II. (The other book, coming out in April, 2022, is The Mayfair Booksh I received a free digital publisher's advance review copy, via Netgalley. Nancy Mitford, author and eldest of the famed Mitford sisters, has been dead for 48 years. And yet there are two novels coming out featuring Nancy Mitford, each of which is a dual-narrative novel with the other storyline involving a contemporary American female protagonist and a setting in the bookshop in London where Nancy Mitford worked during World War II. (The other book, coming out in April, 2022, is The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight. I can’t imagine how she and her publisher must be feeling about the extreme similarity.) I’ll probably read Knight’s novel when it becomes available, but in the meantime I’m here to review Michelle Gable’s effort. I’ll start with the protagonist of the contemporary narrative, Katie Cabot, a successful novelist who is now in year three of a dry period in which she can’t seem to find a subject for a new novel. Her wildly successful writer friend Jojo invites Katie to visit her in London, where she lives in tony Mayfair. As soon as Katie arrives, Jojo orders her to nip around the corner and go to the Heywood Hill bookshop, which she insists is a magical place that will help dispel Katie’s funk. This is the same Heywood Hill bookshop where Nancy Mitford worked for three years during World War II. When Nancy was on duty, the shop became something between a literary salon and a hangout for her louche friends, including Evelyn Waugh. It was there she got the idea to write her most famous novel, The Pursuit of Love, inspired by her extremely unusual family—which included two sisters who were friendly with Hitler, another who was a communist, and another who became the Duchess of Devonshire and chatelaine of Chatsworth, setting of so many movies and TV series, including Pride and Prejudice. I’ve always had a fascination with the Mitfords, so I find any book about them nearly irresistible, even though there are some that shoehorn in characters who are supposed to be the Mitfords to sell barely adequate books. (I’m looking at you, Jessica Fellowes, and your Mitford murder-mystery series.) I had my doubts about this one, but thought I might as well give it a whirl. I ran into a discouraging omen fairly quickly, when Katie lists her favorite historical novelists, among whom are a couple of names I’ve added to my to-be-avoided list, having read a few of their efforts that turned out to be romance-y books coated with a veneer of Wikipedia-level history. Reading this book was a slog. The Katie character is a shallow whiner, and the author doesn’t succeed in bringing Nancy Mitford to life. Way too much of the book consists of dialog clunkily filling us in on Mitford history. The Nancy story includes many snippets taken straight from Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love. As the novel proceeds, more and more parallels emerge between Katie’s life and Nancy’s. I never understood the point of the parallel-lives stuff, especially since Katie is no Nancy Mitford, and I was distracted by reading the bits straight from The Pursuit of Love. Katie’s pairing up with the Simon character was a walking cliché: the impossibly handsome and confident man meeting the somewhat awkward female lead, her initial antagonism to him, followed by a contrived push-and-pull between attraction and distrust, mostly fueled by easily-avoidable misunderstandings. On top of it all, there is a mystery of sorts involving a supposed autobiographical manuscript of Nancy Mitford’s, possibly hidden in the bookstore, keenly sought after by Simon and then Katie, though their search seeming to be actively thwarted by the bookstore’s manager. This plot element goes nowhere. The same can be said for the Katie element of the story. Though I was relieved when the book ended, I was puzzled by how Katie’s story ended with no real resolution other than an obviously wrongheaded decision to write a novel based on The Pursuit of Love. I’m just not sure who this book is for. Those already familiar with the Mitfords don’t need this exposition and those who aren’t familiar with the family aren’t likely to take to this verbose and didactic approach. My advice is to read or re-read The Pursuit of Love and forget about this uninspired effort.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    The Mitfords, the Blitz, a bookstore, intrigues, a cast of quirky characters, a lost manuscript, and more. All make THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET a great escape for WWII hist fic mystery lovers. Cheers! 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 17 Aug 2021 #TheBooksellersSecret #NetGalley Thanks to the author, HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada), and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    An avid historical fiction reader I was anxious to learn more about Nancy Mitford. The synopsis gripped me and the cover art dazzled me. The premise was intriguing as it was a dual timeline (which I love) focusing on two heroines – a modern day author who is experiencing writer’s block and an established author desperately trying to write during the London Blitz. Add in books and a bookstore to this line up…I was excited to start reading! Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me fairly quickly. An avid historical fiction reader I was anxious to learn more about Nancy Mitford. The synopsis gripped me and the cover art dazzled me. The premise was intriguing as it was a dual timeline (which I love) focusing on two heroines – a modern day author who is experiencing writer’s block and an established author desperately trying to write during the London Blitz. Add in books and a bookstore to this line up…I was excited to start reading! Unfortunately, this book fell flat for me fairly quickly. It started with a curse of too much dialogue, then slid into unrealistic dialogue and then sputtered and stalled with pacing problems. Dialogue is great, but it can also be like binge-eating a bag of chips…pretty soon you don’t want to see another bag of chips for a month! I wonder if the author fell into the trap of too many dialogue scenes in a row instead of implementing action and/or narrative to balance it out? It felt like author’s names and book titles were dropped into the plot with little to connect them to the action nor narrative. The modern-day dialogue was the death of this book. It felt so out of place and almost juvenile. It certainly wasn’t representative of the characters’ ages. I kept reading expecting something exciting to happen because the tag line promised ‘thrilling’ and the characterization promised ‘spy’ activity. I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t read anything mysterious nor was I led on an adventure with characters running for their lives or in danger. While I read historical fiction, I like to go online and check out people, places or events to get a broader scope. I was expecting to reach for my computer to Google as I read, but it didn’t happen. Not once, and that’s rare. I think what it boiled down to was that (1) the author wasn’t able to bring history alive for me and (2) I wasn’t able to connect with any of the rather unlikeable characters. Sadly, although it had so much potential, it left me completely underwhelmed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Reading Ladies)

    2.5 Stars Thank you #Netgalley #Harlequin # @GraydonHouse for a complimentary eARC of #TheBookSellersSecret upon my request. All opinions are my own. If you enjoy stories that are primarily dialogue-driven and you are a fan of Nancy Mitford, you might enjoy this fictionalized story of her writing life. I wish: * I had felt more connection with the characters and story * The characters had been more likable * The story had more suspense (as the title indicates it might) * The ending had been more satisf 2.5 Stars Thank you #Netgalley #Harlequin # @GraydonHouse for a complimentary eARC of #TheBookSellersSecret upon my request. All opinions are my own. If you enjoy stories that are primarily dialogue-driven and you are a fan of Nancy Mitford, you might enjoy this fictionalized story of her writing life. I wish: * I had felt more connection with the characters and story * The characters had been more likable * The story had more suspense (as the title indicates it might) * The ending had been more satisfactory * The story had included how the war might have significantly impacted the characters in the past timeline * There had been fewer characters to track in the past timeline * The present timeline didn't mirror the past so closely (although it was easier to follow) The author has written a well-researched story, and fans of dialogue-driven stories might enjoy this more than I did. Overall, I was left feeling underwhelmed and unengaged. Others have loved it, please check out more reviews. For more reviews visit my blog www.readingladies.com

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Nancy Mitford was one of six sisters and they couldn't have been any more different. For example, Nancy was a novelist, sister Pamela was a countrywoman, and Diana was a Fascist. Then there was Unity, a Hitler confidante and Jessica, the Communist, while Deborah was a Duchess. They also had a brother named Thomas. Indeed, all of the siblings were strikingly different. Although this novel is based on the true-life story of Nancy Freeman-Mitford, an English novelist, it was not a biography, and wa Nancy Mitford was one of six sisters and they couldn't have been any more different. For example, Nancy was a novelist, sister Pamela was a countrywoman, and Diana was a Fascist. Then there was Unity, a Hitler confidante and Jessica, the Communist, while Deborah was a Duchess. They also had a brother named Thomas. Indeed, all of the siblings were strikingly different. Although this novel is based on the true-life story of Nancy Freeman-Mitford, an English novelist, it was not a biography, and was written as historical fiction. Nancy had a wonderful writing career, but after expericing a devastating loss, as well as being estranged from her husband, she gave up writing. Once known as the Bright Young Thing, it was her sisters who were continuing to make headlines. Nancy is forced to find a way to earn an income, so she takes the opportunity to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop. One of her customers sees more for Nancy and this helps her to see that she just might write again. Meanwhile, in present time, Katie Cabot is searching for Nancy Mitford's unpublished manuscript. Katie's career needs a boost and unearthing said manuscript would definitely make waves. Then Katie meets Felix Assan, who is also searching for the manuscript and the two become allies. Slowly, the past and the present converge, especially as Katie and Felix dig deeper. Whether the story takes place during the late 1940s or eighty years later, it is intriguing throughout. I love the extensive research this story proved. Although I had not heard of Nancy Mitford prior to reading this novel, I found her to be a very interesting person, and her trials made a deep impression on me. I also enjoyed how Katie's story developed as she searched for the manuscript, all while developing a kinship with Felix. Many thanks to Graydon House and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    I LOVE a good dual timeline WWII historical fiction, especially when it's based on real people. This novel focuses on the life of Nancy Mitford and her work during WWII. I really enjoyed getting to know this fascinating woman and her family. She was a struggling writer during the war and worked in a bookshop in London. I thought the author did a REALLY great job linking the contemporary and historical storylines. In the present day, we get to know Katie, also a writer searching for her next grea I LOVE a good dual timeline WWII historical fiction, especially when it's based on real people. This novel focuses on the life of Nancy Mitford and her work during WWII. I really enjoyed getting to know this fascinating woman and her family. She was a struggling writer during the war and worked in a bookshop in London. I thought the author did a REALLY great job linking the contemporary and historical storylines. In the present day, we get to know Katie, also a writer searching for her next great book idea. She travels to London to learn more about Nancy and connects with an English man who has his own mysterious connection to Nancy. This was so well written, the two timelines flow seamlessly and I was invested in what happened to both Nancy and Katie. Perfect for fans of stories about books and writing, and especially ones set during WWII, like The Paris library, The last bookshop in London and The librarian of Saint-Malo. Also excellent on audio narrated by Eleanor Caudill. I highly recommend this one for WWII historical fiction fans. Much thanks to NetGalley, Libro.fm and the publisher for my advance review copies.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    This is my first time reading Michelle Gable, I was drawn to this book partly because of the bookish theme but also it's fun to discover new authors. Told from 2 POVs, with one being author Nancy Mitford during WW2. She is also a new to me author, I was hoping to feel that desire to read some of her books. I enjoyed getting to know her and her family dynamics, what an assorted bunch, and the setting of an actual bookstore, Heywood Hill's was nice. Current day is Katie who has an obsession with Nan This is my first time reading Michelle Gable, I was drawn to this book partly because of the bookish theme but also it's fun to discover new authors. Told from 2 POVs, with one being author Nancy Mitford during WW2. She is also a new to me author, I was hoping to feel that desire to read some of her books. I enjoyed getting to know her and her family dynamics, what an assorted bunch, and the setting of an actual bookstore, Heywood Hill's was nice. Current day is Katie who has an obsession with Nancy Mitford. I found it interesting how she arrived in England, a recent separation from fiancée/writer's block (she is also an author). While searching for inspiration discovers Heywood Hills and begins a search for a long lost manuscript. The Bookseller's Secret is a dialogue driven story and while that works (sometimes) I missed the atmospheric elements and feeling the era. While I struggled to connect with the characters I did enjoy the history lesson of Mitford's life but given the time period I would have liked more of a connection to the war to have felt more of an impact it had on the lives of Nancy and her friends. For me The Bookseller's Secret was an okay read, while I didn't love it I have The Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable in my TBR pile and will give it a go. My thanks to Graydon House (via Netgalley) for an e-arc of this book. It is on sale now.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    When it comes to reading, my tastes are very simple – mysteries, spy thrillers, history (fiction and nonfiction) and military fiction. My time periods range from ancient Rome to the Middle Ages to WWII and to the present. Every so often though, a book not in one of those categories catches my attention and it really affects me. THE BOOKSELLER'S SECRET is the latest such book. The author, whom I had not heard of before, MICHELLE GABLE, has written a masterpiece. I was vaguely aware of Nancy Mitfor When it comes to reading, my tastes are very simple – mysteries, spy thrillers, history (fiction and nonfiction) and military fiction. My time periods range from ancient Rome to the Middle Ages to WWII and to the present. Every so often though, a book not in one of those categories catches my attention and it really affects me. THE BOOKSELLER'S SECRET is the latest such book. The author, whom I had not heard of before, MICHELLE GABLE, has written a masterpiece. I was vaguely aware of Nancy Mitford, a mid-20th Century British author and her eccentric family through news stories and my affiliation with the book publishing industry (for nearly 50 years). And as a reader. As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.” This novel is based on fact. Ms. Gable explains what is real and what is not in a postscript. Some of the facts I checked via a Google search. The historic elements are accurate. There are two narrators. During the years of WWII, Nancy Mitford was living in London through the Blitz and working in a bookstore. The bookstore is G. Heywood Hill Ltd. a real store that is still doing business. In the present day, it is Katie Cabot an American author living in Virginia near Washington, D.C. Both have a similar problem. They are both searching for the subject and storyline for their next book. When Mitford is the narrator, the reader meets many of her friends and her family. Both groups contain wonderful characters who are a little off beat. Among Nancy’s family are communists, fascists and Nazis. One sister had been jailed for her pro-Nazi sympathies. The communist sister has moved to California (where else?) with her husband. The Mitford parents are minor nobility. They have estates but little cash or income. Nancy needs the three pounds a week she gets from her job in the bookstore just to survive. One sister, Deborah, married the 11th Duke of Devonshire (their son, the 12th Duke, now owns the bookstore). Mitford is looking for a story that she can write that will become a bestseller. She had published three or four critically acclaimed novels, but financial busts, before the war. Katie had written a couple of books that also were not financial successes. Her fiancé Armie had been her friend and then lover since they were five years old. She is in her mid to late thirties. Her best friend other than Armie is Jojo Boyers who met and married a British executive. Jojo lives in London with her four kids. Katie and Jojo went to school together from their earliest years through Cornell University in upstate New York. At Cornell, Katie’s senior year thesis was on Nancy Mitford. Katie decides to visit Jojo after Thanksgiving (late November). Her friend tells her to visit the bookstore in the neighborhood. There she meets Simon Bailey who may or may not be a missing part of Mitford’s extended family. This story provided me with a great deal of fun entertainment. If the whole COVID 19 pandemic is getting you down, read this book. You will feel much better if you do. If I could, I would give this book 10 stars on a zero-to-five-star scale. The author has a few other books available. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. GO! BUY! READ!

  17. 5 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    Why in hell do these women want to rehabilitate Nancy Mitford? Look, she was a wonderful writer, and the Radletts of The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate are delightful to read about. But as I've mentioned in reviews of similar stuff, the Mitfords were NASTY. Try reading some of their collected letters and tell me otherwise! And Nancy did NOT get a "happy ending," her colonel always kept her on the side of his life, married the younger, wealthier woman he'd been having an affair with at th Why in hell do these women want to rehabilitate Nancy Mitford? Look, she was a wonderful writer, and the Radletts of The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate are delightful to read about. But as I've mentioned in reviews of similar stuff, the Mitfords were NASTY. Try reading some of their collected letters and tell me otherwise! And Nancy did NOT get a "happy ending," her colonel always kept her on the side of his life, married the younger, wealthier woman he'd been having an affair with at the same time (and had a child with), and did so right around the time she began a long and agonizing battle with cancer. Yes, he was there the day she died. Big whup. As for the characters in the parallel story, they are clearly there to offer parallels, right down to the dog. This is such feeble stuff that I started reading it, stopped, and then didn't finish it for almost a month. If you insist on a (fairly) sympathetic view of the Mitfords, go for The Mitford Murders instead. It's pretty lame too, but it's a lot better than this one. Better still, re-read the real books!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Lynch

    This was definitely not the book for me. The premise of the The Bookseller’s Secret sounded promising: a dual timeline read featuring a between-books, Bright Young Thing author working in a bookstore during WWII and a modern-day struggling author looking for the former’s lost manuscript. It’s a book about books and book lovers, which I typically tend to enjoy. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot to like about this novel. For starters, I only knew that Nancy Mitford was a real person because it was This was definitely not the book for me. The premise of the The Bookseller’s Secret sounded promising: a dual timeline read featuring a between-books, Bright Young Thing author working in a bookstore during WWII and a modern-day struggling author looking for the former’s lost manuscript. It’s a book about books and book lovers, which I typically tend to enjoy. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot to like about this novel. For starters, I only knew that Nancy Mitford was a real person because it was mentioned in the book’s description. I went into this book knowing nothing about her, and frankly, I still don’t feel that I know much about her, and what I do know, I don’t particularly like. Nancy is not a likeable character, which is fairly true to her real-life personality based on what I’ve read other places, but I couldn’t connect with her. She doesn’t really seem to care about anything or anyone but herself, and she’s rather overbearing and mean more than clever or witty. Her friends are obnoxious and arrogant, so I couldn’t even get behind the secondary characters. I did enjoy learning about Nancy’s sisters, who were a varied bunch, and seeing her interactions with them, but that was about the only part of Nancy’s story that I found entertaining. In regard to the modern-day timeline, Katie’s story is meant to somewhat parallel Nancy’s experiences. However, Katie isn’t easy to connect with, either. She’s not a horrible person like Nancy, but there’s just something missing in her storyline, and I didn’t really think her narrative added much to the story overall. Simon is a strange fellow, and their relationship happens too quickly and isn’t very realistic. I kept flipping back thinking I’d missed some big emotional moment only to realize that those moments were happening off-the-page, which made their romance feel fake. On top of that, their search for Nancy’s lost manuscript is somewhat disjointed and ultimately unfulfilling. When I hear ‘searching for a lost manuscript,’ I think something along the lines of National Treasure or The DaVinci Code, and although I wasn’t really expecting the search to be as elaborate as all that, it was quite underwhelming. Furthermore, Felix, the bookstore proprietor who’s helping/hindering their investigation, comes across as weird rather than interesting despite his secrets, which were also revealed rather anticlimactically. All in all, there’s really not much that I liked about this book. Normally when I finish a work of historical fiction based around real people, I want to find out more about their lives. That is definitely not the case with Nancy Mitford or her hoity-toity friends. Additionally, the dual timelines don’t add much to the story overall, and there’s just an awful lot of dialogue that makes the pacing off the story feel slow. I often found myself putting the book down with no real desire to finish. Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Stone

    Book: The Bookseller’s Secret Author: Michelle Gable Rating: 2 Out Of 5 Stars I would like to thank the publisher, Graydon House, for providing me with an ARC. I think this one has promise for sure, even though I didn’t give it a very high rating. I honestly just had a very difficult time connecting with the book and anything about it. This doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book, but any means, it just didn’t work for me. Since I really couldn’t connect with what was going on, I found myself really not Book: The Bookseller’s Secret Author: Michelle Gable Rating: 2 Out Of 5 Stars I would like to thank the publisher, Graydon House, for providing me with an ARC. I think this one has promise for sure, even though I didn’t give it a very high rating. I honestly just had a very difficult time connecting with the book and anything about it. This doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book, but any means, it just didn’t work for me. Since I really couldn’t connect with what was going on, I found myself really not caring about the characters and their lives around them. I found the characters to be engaging at first, but as the book went on, I just found myself losing interest in them. We follow two writers in two different timelines. Both of them are different, but, yet, are kind of alike-if that makes any sense. We see them both kind of struggling with not only their writing, but also in their personal lives. This alone should have kept me hooked throughout the whole book, but it didn’t. There was something missing to really drive the whole point home. While we did seem to have these rather complex characters, there was just something missing about them. What they are dealing with is something that all humans have to deal with. They are at their lowest and are trying to rebuild from that. However, just the way it was done, just really didn’t work for me. There just seemed to be an overall lack of emotion. I guess that was really the missing link for me. This sense of going through what the characters are going through should have made me feel sorry for them. One of the points of view is set during the height of World War II. There should have been some tension, some sense of urgency, but there was nothing. I know that the world didn’t really hit everyone, but this is London. We should have gotten a sense that everything may not be okay. We should have felt their pain, joys, and all of the other human emotions. Yet, I felt nothing. It is the writer’s job to bring the story to life. I’m not saying that Michelle is a bad writer by any means. I just think that her method did not really work for this story. We have a lot of dialogue and a slow pace. Now, this does actually work for historical fiction. It just doesn’t work for historical fiction set during a war-especially one set during World War II. We all know about total war, but that just really didn’t seem to affect the characters. I don’t know…I really don’t know…. Anyway, this one comes out on August 17, 2021.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Another book told in dual timelines. It’s about two women who are writers but seem to be having trouble writing their next book. There’s a lot of interesting characters in this book. I enjoyed the book for the most part, it did get a bit wordy at times. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany www.instagram.com/tiffs_bookshelf

    My historical fiction loving heart loved this new book!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a huge Michele Gable fan this latest book was right up my alley!!!!!!!!! Every booklover will adore this one!!!!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Parkhurst

    Tells the story of two different women across two time periods. Katie heads to London after a tough break up to find inspiration for her next novel. There she encountered a bookstore that may hold the secrets to Nancy Mitford's life during WW2. Both Nancy and Katie are compelling women and their stories unfold in a way keeps you engaged. I learned a lot about the Mitford sisters in the process! Tells the story of two different women across two time periods. Katie heads to London after a tough break up to find inspiration for her next novel. There she encountered a bookstore that may hold the secrets to Nancy Mitford's life during WW2. Both Nancy and Katie are compelling women and their stories unfold in a way keeps you engaged. I learned a lot about the Mitford sisters in the process!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Illana Brooks

    I can genuinely say I wasn’t bored by a single word in this book. Going back and forth between Katie and Nancy not only kept you on your toes, but seeing Felix’s involvement at the end had my eyes going wide. I hope to see more from Michelle Gable in the future-especially if it means more of Katie!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I am not usually a fan of historical fiction, but this one was interesting with its dual timeline and attention to sharp, witty dialogue, and focus on a real literary figure. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Mussell

    Fabulous! If you’re a fan of the Mitford Sisters, you’ll definitely enjoy. Great dual timeline. Thank you NetGalley for the DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dallas Strawn

    Love Michelle Gable, and love her take on a WWII era novel without making it “too WWII”. It was really enjoyable, because it’s more dialogue driven and more about the life of Nancy Mitford (who I was relatively unfamiliar with before reading this) and the fictional protagonist she’s created: a bestselling author struggling with what to write next..... I love books about books/authors; they just make me happy. And this one didn’t disappoint!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine Mott

    The Booksellers Secret By: Michelle Gable 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Beautiful story based on the life of author Nancy Mitford. Take two authors in different eras and mold them together for a compelling book for the book lover in all of us. 📖 One author working in a bookshop in wartime London and an American author who searches for a lost manuscript in the present. 📖 I was engrossed in this novel with its charming characters. A nice blend of Historical fiction, romance and intrigue. #thebooksellerssecret, #michellega The Booksellers Secret By: Michelle Gable 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Beautiful story based on the life of author Nancy Mitford. Take two authors in different eras and mold them together for a compelling book for the book lover in all of us. 📖 One author working in a bookshop in wartime London and an American author who searches for a lost manuscript in the present. 📖 I was engrossed in this novel with its charming characters. A nice blend of Historical fiction, romance and intrigue. #thebooksellerssecret, #michellegable, #graydonhousebooks, #bookstagram, #booksconnectus, #bookreview, #stamperlady50

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    THE BOOKSELLER'S SECRET BY MICHELE GABLE This interesting literary fiction takes place during a dual time line. Present Day Katie is an author with writer's block who is American and goes to stay with a good friend in London. While there she finds every book lovers dream. A bookshop with the history of her iconic mentor Nancy Mitford who apparently worked in the same shop between 1942 through 1945. Katie is told by one of the male colleagues that there exists an unpublished memoir by Nancy. After th THE BOOKSELLER'S SECRET BY MICHELE GABLE This interesting literary fiction takes place during a dual time line. Present Day Katie is an author with writer's block who is American and goes to stay with a good friend in London. While there she finds every book lovers dream. A bookshop with the history of her iconic mentor Nancy Mitford who apparently worked in the same shop between 1942 through 1945. Katie is told by one of the male colleagues that there exists an unpublished memoir by Nancy. After the time period that Nancy Mitford wrote "The Pursuit of Happiness." Katie search for the missing memoir within the charming bookshop takes her too many interesting stories from one of her co-worker's with a fascinating premise. Anybody who reads this will find it intriguing and will find the characterization's compelling reading especially since it deals with various themes with something to offer everybody. 1942-1945 Nancy Mitford managed this same bookshop. The book is such a treat for book lovers since it goes back and forth between working there and her many other endeavors during World War II and blitzed out London. She was one of six daughter's with one brother. Nancy's was the oldest and her five sister's gave their brother Tom a hard time when they were growing up. Next to Nancy was Pamela who I hadn't heard much about. Nancy reflects on Pamela as mostly boring after she was born she usurped Nancy's role as only child. Tom came after Pamela and Diana, was the middle child who Nancy describes being the dreamiest of her family's brood. Diana could be spotted gazing out of the window while they were growing up. Most people are familiar with Diana Mosley who spent some time of her adult life incarcerated during the war and Nancy took care of Diana's boys. Diana and her husband were known to be Fascists during World War II. Next was Unity who was next born descending downward in age. Unity was linked to be a lover with Hitler. Nancy thought that Unity was someone who liked the idea of Hitler and the Nazi's more than she liked Hitler himself. It is said that Unity always wanted to be a part of something and was also known for her inability to think critically. She couldn't decide whether her country was England or Germany and tried committing suicide twice. Decca was born next a few year's later. Decca was known to be a Communist and her and Unity were closest growing up. Nancy believed that it was their closeness that pushed each girl to their ultimate extreme. Deborah, was the youngest and Nancy thought was her parents last chance for a boy. Their mother was mostly a pleasant woman who instilled in all of her daughter's to be independent of men. The thing that I enjoyed the most were mentions of other literature and a mostly constant dialogue that went on throughout the entire novel. I liked how the back stories of many other character's kept the story moving forward. Katie and her friend Jojo in London both discussing the writing of novels and their character's. This novel was a joy to read and one that I would recommend for it's fascinating modern and historical details. Then there is the love of books and both contemporary and historical fiction. Publication Date: August 17, 2021 Thank you to Net Galley, Michelle Gable and Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. #TheBookseller'sSecret #MichelleGable #HarlequinTradePublishing #NetGalley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I had difficulty connecting with the protagonists in this book. I found myself very interested in Nancy Mitford the writer and put a hold on her books at the library but this book just seemed to fall short. Some things were not developed enough, some things seem over developed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Bookseller’s Secret Author: Michelle Gable Book Series: Standalone Rating: 1/5 Recommended For...: historical fiction, WW2 Publication Date: August 17, 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction Recommended Age: can’t recommend, DNFed Publisher: Graydon House Pages: 400 Synopsis: In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparklin Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Bookseller’s Secret Author: Michelle Gable Book Series: Standalone Rating: 1/5 Recommended For...: historical fiction, WW2 Publication Date: August 17, 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction Recommended Age: can’t recommend, DNFed Publisher: Graydon House Pages: 400 Synopsis: In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics. Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay. Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present… Review: I had to DNF this book at 23% in. The book is just really unbearable for me. It’s slow in a lot of places and the main character is not likable at all. There also seems to be a lot of plot points in the book that don’t seem related to the story whatsoever. I also didn’t know about the main character’s ties to Hitler (through her sisters Unity and Diana) before looking into the book and I don’t think I’ll be making another attempt at this book. Verdict: Not for me but maybe for you.

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