Monday's Musings - "The Last Bookshop in London" by Madeline Martin & English Breakfast Tea

 I recently finished this well-written and engaging story set primarily during the bombing of London at the beginning of World War II.

Given that Martin's other books exude the feeling of steamy romances based on judging a book by its cover, I assure you that this one is not of that genre and is a good representation of an upright courtship of that day though that is not the primary focus of the book.

Grace comes to London hoping for a different and better life than she'd had helping to run her uncle's shop after she was orphaned. She and her best friend find work there, with her ending up at a bookshop. She hopes it will be a temporary placement since she has no interest in books, the proprietor is cold and unfriendly, and the place is an unorganized mess.

For us booklovers, it's a delight to watch her fall in love with reading and use that love to bring cheer to the lives of people being devastated by the bombings and the war in general. I even learned a few titles to put on my "To Be Read" list (like that needed any additions!).

I also learned a lot about what it was like during the bombings (without too much graphic description) and how people felt and reacted. It even helped me understand what the Pevensies were doing at the beginning of the movie of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" when they ran to a shelter in their "garden." (To set the record straight, I don't recommend any of those movies but this one.)

Grace goes on to help in the war effort at home and is key to some rescue operations. Again, I hadn't known really what civilians had done on the homefront and this was a good learning opportunity. My respect went up.

This book is definitely worth reading. It gave me a good look into that period of history, but it also gave me some good characters with whom to spend some time.

I recommend a good pot of English breakfast tea to go along with it.