Cover Image: The Bookshop on the Shore

The Bookshop on the Shore

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Member Reviews

This was a sweet and bookish book. Although I love books, this one was not quite up my alley. Despite this fact, I believe that many will enjoy it. There are adorable (and horrid) children, books, a lovely library, and a bit of a mystery. I went into the story not knowing anything about the previous books or this one. I think if I had gone in knowing a bit more I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
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I read the previous title by this author, THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER, and liked it a good bit.  I like this one less.  Some of the same people are in both books, but this one focuses on Zoe, a single mother who has lost both her job and her flat in London, and receives little help from her son's father.  She is accepts an au pair job in Scotland, plus a temporary gig as the bookseller for Nina's bookshop on wheels, while Nina is bedridden during her pregnancy.  The three motherless children and their odd, mostly absentee father cause au pair Zoe lots of problems, as does the bulky book truck.  (I continue to think of this as a bookmobile instead of a bookshop on wheels.)  The ending is rather predictable but satisfying. Based on the book's title, I was expecting more action around the bookshop and the shore.
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It's been my experience that Jenny Colgan books are thick and chunky, but for me they go very fast. Looking back, I don't see how an au pair in charge of three motherless children could possibly interest me, but in Jenny's capable hands I am always satisfied. That feeling didn't change with this book. It was great. I loved all the titles and authors that were bandied about. I loved Hari, Shackleton, and Patrick. If this series of 2 books becomes a trilogy, I would absolutely definitely read it. I enjoyed devouring this book. Thanks, Netgalley, for this arc.
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I have enjoyed every book by Jenny Colgan, and this one is no exception. Jenny writes beautifully, and draws you into the story very quickly. Yes, there is romance, but the book is about so much more than that. And the Scottish setting is a bonus!
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I read her other book, The Bookshop on the corner, which I loved, loved and loved more, but this one, which I was so excited to read because she is one of my favorite authors, with romance, a strange family with a really strange father; the normal quirked characters, but it started very slow and did not get up to speed as the other book.  Zoe is a single mom struggling with money and a stupid boyfriend, decides it time to get a better life.  She leaves London and gets a job in the Scottish Highlands, the same place Nina went to find a better life and she does. 
A new book van and a great man to marry.  STOP, this is where this story starts again from.  Girl in rut, go to highlands, find strange people and fall in love.  I just wanted more.
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Another fun, fast read from Jenny Colgan.  The issues the children were dealing with were very serious but somehow the overall tone of the book was fairly light.  You know what you're going to get with a Jenny Colgan book and this doesn't disappoint.  Her descriptions of Scotland make me want to visit Scotland sooner rather than later!
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I recieved an arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This book, I actually enjoyed parts for in for a majority of the book. I loved the setting in the Highlands. I loved Patrick. I loved the overall love of books that felt pervasive throughout the whole novel. The book was sitting a 3.5/4 for me until the romance starting taking place. It didn't feel genuine. I didn't think Zoe and Ramsay had chemistry but also I didn't love them as characters.

I had a hard time pulling for Zoe. She's supposedly an expert in children since she works at this posh daycare. But as someone who actually is a nanny, I didn't feel like she had a large base of knowledge about child psychology. I felt like her sons issues were partially of her own making because she was constantly pushing her fears and anxiety onto Hari. Ramsey was neglectful. I'm sorry, he was. His character drove me nuts. Getting him to spend time with his own traumatized children was like pulling teeth. Mary deserves better. I felt like the book could have actually explored these themes more but instead tried to tie up everything too fast. Once the children were on the boat I was struggling not to dnf. 

This book will probably be a favorite for a lot of people. I think I just know too much about children to enjoy it. 2.5
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Another wonderful Jenny Colgan! I recommend her books to readers at my library pretty frequently and they always seem to hit the mark with readers. While this is the second in the Scottish Bookshop series, it could be read, and enjoyed, without reading the first. The Bookshop on the Shore is a wonderful story and I can't wait to see what's up next from Jenny Colgan!
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I received an electronic ARC from HarperCollins Publishers through NetGalley.
Painfully slow starting novel. Colgan introduces her characters and presents hints to the conflicts to come for several chapters. The story involves characters from another of her books but can be read as a stand-alone. 
Much of the first two-thirds involves character information and background. The final third of the book actually provides the plot twists and information that brought my rating to 3-stars from 2. I struggled with this book as the characters were not likable and felt stereotyped. I've read other Colgan novels and enjoyed them so was disappointed with the dragging pace of this one.
A quick read that offers some poignant moments dealing with mental illness and drug abuse.
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The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan
Have not read previous versions of this series but love the idea of having a book shop at the shore.
Starts with Zoey and she's traveling with her young son to Scotland where she just got a job taking care of 3 children. She's no longer able to pay her rent and her DJ boyfriend is too busy for them and doesn't wish to tell his parents of the child.
She struggles as she arrives and learns about the family-no mother but a father who is into antique books. 
Story goes back in time to when she was just pregnant and at other stages to the pregnancy.
She's got the right answers for the children who are trying to drive her and Hari away. The housekeeper who's pregnant is hospitalized and now Zoe takes over her work load as well as her other chores.
Love the time she spends with Mary shopping for clothes. Things change once the kids are back to school. 
Her ex shows up and wants her to go back to England and he's promised to help with the money....the kids overhear and draw their own conclusion and they go missing, the lake is too close and that is one place they search for them...
We learn over time why the mother left the children and her husband....
 Things change with her ex and now he and his new girlfriend want them to be closer-for the child.  Party for the kids to introduce them to others they will be going to school with-wow what a bash!
Love what she does tot he book store, the things she adds that make all the difference in the world.
They draw close to one another and miracles occur...
Acknowledgements are included. About the author is also included along with her other works.
Praise and reviews are included at the end.
Received this review copy from HarperCollins Publishers via William Morrow Paperbacks at NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
#TheBookshopOnTheShore #NetGalley
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Book #2 in the Scottish Bookshop series, this addition follows single mother, Zoe, who is looking for a fresh start after struggling in London. She's given a job as a au pair in a old, dilapidated mansion on a loch and also to help out Nina with her book bus while she's on maternity leave. At first Zoe thinks that she has made a huge mistake in fleeing London, but soon Zoe and her son come to see Scotland as home. 

I love this series. I have grown to love this series and hope that there is more. It's heartwarming, romantic, and makes me wish that I could visit Scotland as soon as possible.
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I was so excited to be approved to receive this ARC.  I love Jenny Colgan.  There is always a romance involved in her books but the surrounding story and sense of place is what makes it for me.  The Bookshop on the Shore is no exception.
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The Bookshop on the Shore continues the story of Nina Redmond, a Librarian we met in The Bookshop on the Corner.  Colgan returns to the town of Kirrinfief in Scotland, but this time the story focuses on a young woman named Zoe.  Zoe is a single mom to an adorable boy named Hari.  She is struggling to make ends meet in London as Hari's deadbeat dad continues to come up with excuses for why he can't help take care of his son, why he can't tell his family about Hari, and why they can't make their relationship work for Hari's sake.  At the end of her rope and unable to afford her rent, Zoe accepts a job offer in Kirrinfief. She will be acting as au pair to a well-established, though mysterious, family while also assisting Nina with the book van.  Zoe has experience working with children and loves, she's desperate, so this has to work out.

So, of course, it doesn't work out at all.  The children of the Urquart family are little hellions. She is not their first au pair and they want her gone.  Their mother has left them and their father is absolutely no help at all and the housekeeper isn't go to throw Zoe any bones.  The one redeeming factor was supposed to be helping Nina with the book ban, but the citizens of Kirrinfief don't know what they want in a book and they don't want anything Zoe suggests for them.  Hari's father is still falling down on his responsibilities. Zoe's at her limits and then, things get even worse.

This book is Jenny Colgan as her readers have come to expect.  There's humor, there's romance, there's plenty of unexpected mayhem caused by the very nature of the Scottish weather and people.  Zoe is definitely given the fish out of water treatment by the locals.  Colgan conveys some of the struggle of being a single parent, particularly to a child with some peculiarities with beautiful poignancy while not weighing the story down too much.  Zoe's life is hard and it wouldn't be a stretch to understand how she could give up on herself and her dreams, but you know that she will always keep fighting for Hari.  This story is about a mother's unfailing love for her child and the strength of that same women when life throws everything it's got at her.

The writing is clean and precise.  The colloquialisms are easy to gather from context (at least they were for this American reader) and the interspersed cultural details about Scotland and it's traditions will inspire readers to want to learn more. This book is an easy read. It doesn't hit the reader over the head with the romance, and in fact I consider that the least important element to the story. Zoe is a triumph who will inspire so many people to get back up when life has bowled them over. This book was lovely while still dealing with the harsh realities many women face when it comes to motherhood and making a living.
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Jenny Colgan books come into my life magically when I don't even know I need them. And this one popped up on Netgalley for Librarians, so thanks to NG and the publisher! 

This book is a semi follow up to Booshop on the Corner in that Nina and her van are in the story, but not the main focus-instead we are introduced to Zoe who shows up in Scotland to be an au pair for three children who are basically being neglected. Can Zoe perform some sort of Mary Poppins miracle on those kids? 

I liked this book, but it is not my favorite of Jenny Colgan's. It did also take me a little longer to get into the book and become invested into Zoe, the kids, and Ramsay. By the end though, I still had my big sappy smile on my face and that happy warm feeling that I love when reading her books. 

Still highly recommend!
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I love Jenny Colgan books and I loved revisiting Scotland and Nina's book van. This isn't quite a sequel but takes place in the same town with the same people as Jenny's The Bookshop on the Corner (My favorite book of hers). Her books are so picturesque and make you just want to pack up like her characters and move to Scotland. the only thing that threw me off of this was the beginning. I got so confused with all the jumping around in perspectives. Your going from Nina, Surinder, and Zoe and I lost a bit of the story and found myself floundering. That might have been because I was only reading in tidbits while nursing and wasn't concentrating that hard. Other than that though it was a fun journey back. I enjoyed Zoe and Hari and loved the development of her relationship with the children of the Big House. There were some surprises thrown in which I enjoyed. I love seeing mental health representation. I also enjoy Jenny's style of romance. She doesn't make her books all about the love interest but instead springs it on you near the end and instead concentrates on her main character's story plot.
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I loooooooooooooooooove Jenny Colgan! She can do no wrong in my book. This is yet another comforting armchair travel book!
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This was a really cute story. I loved the setting and the characters so much, which I can't always say for Colgan's other books. I have been recommending this one like mad and everyone loves it. We will have to buy additional copies for my library!
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The Bookshop on the Shore reacquaints with several characters from the Bookshop on the Corner so the reader can follow their journey. Zoe, single mom, desperate for a change for her son, Hari, ventures to Scotland to work as a nanny and bookseller. Jenny Colgan provides believable female characters who seek a change to improve their lives. This is definitely a good read for patrons who enjoy a bit of romance and a happy ending.
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Zoe has a son who won't speak at age 4, a boyfriend who won't stay close and a life that doesn't seem to be getting any better.  She is given the opportunity to move from London to Scotland to be an au pair and help in a bookseller's van during  the owner's final weeks of pregnancy.  Is this a positive move for Zoe and Hari?  Will they ever belong anywhere?
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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I absolutely LOVED it. This story has it all—romance, mystery, and adventure, and an everyday man and woman who become hero and heroine to their children by facing extraordinary challenges head-on. It’s a heartwarming story, full of humor and quirky characters. 

I discovered that the author wrote a book before this, however (The Bookshop on the Corner), that shares the same setting and many of the same characters, so I find it strange that they were not given their own series. The setting—the Highland village of Kirrinfief—and Nina—the former librarian who drives the blue book van—are the common denominators.

Zoe O’Connell is a young single mother in London who makes great sacrifices to give her young son a better life. She has a University degree, but as a new mum, alone, cannot work full-time without daycare, which she cannot afford. Her job pays next to nothing, so she can barely afford a dilapidated studio flat in Wembley, Her landlord has just raised her rent so she has to move, but where?

Her 4-year-old son Hari was not exactly planned, but ever since he arrived, he’s become her whole life; she can’t imagine loving anyone more. Hari’s Papa is another story. You’d have to search far and wide to find a guy more shallow and vain than Jaz. He fashions himself a DJ, though gigs are few and far between. He  constantly takes selfies for his instagram followers. He rarely visits Hari, who idolizes him, and this breaks Zoe’s heart. He always seems to be “skint,” unable to pay child support, yet somehow able to afford flash new clothes. 

When Jaz’s sister Surinder learns that she is an “Auntie-ji”, she visits London to meet her darling nephew. When she meets Zoe, she sees how tired she is, and what a dump they have to live in. She wants to help, so she asks Zoe if she likes books (yes) and would she be interested in filling in for her friend Nina in Scotland?  Driving a book van in the clean air of Scotland sounds a lot better than her current life. What can she lose?

Nina then hears of a part-time nanny job in Kirrinfief that offers free room & board—perfect for Zoe. So she tells Surinder, who tells Zoe, and they're off—heading to the Highlands on a bus with everything they own in two bags. When they arrive, it’s late, they’re exhausted, and “The Beeches” is the creepiest place Zoe has ever seen. .

The laird is Ramsay Urquart—technically a duke, but he doesn’t stand on ceremony. His three children are Shackleton, Mary, and Patrick, ages 12, 9, and 5.. Zoe finds out early the next morning that (A) the dad is rarely around, (B) there is no mother (surprise!) and (C) there is no food other than toast and breakfast cereal, because that’s all the kids will eat. They live in their pajamas, in the kitchen all day, munching toast while they play games on their tablets—or fight. The reason they’re not at school? Mary was suspended for biting, and Shackleton for defending her. This is a complicated family with some dark secrets and daunting challenges.

So before Zoe can even start driving the van for Nina, she must referee the kids and find some real food to cook for dinner—which then burns, because no one told her the ancient stove was a safety hazard. There is no dishwasher, no coffee machine, and the hoover (vacuum cleaner) is ancient, as is the plumbing. There is never enough hot water, but that doesn’t bother the children because they don’t care for baths anyway. At least Zoe has a car at her disposal for trips to the village shops, and housekeeper Mrs MacGlone is there during the day.

The first time Zoe tries to drive the van, it stalls and rolls backward, getting stuck in the mud. It takes five men to get it unstuck. But Nina needs Zoe, because she is enceinte, and feeling more unwell by the day. Thank God Zoe is there one day to call for help.

The “part-time” nanny job takes all of Zoe’s energy, because the number of challenges is astronomical. Five-year-old boy genius Patrick, the youngest Urquart child, dubs her “Nanny Seven” because he figures she won’t last any longer than the previous six, so why bother to remember her name? Patrick is thrilled however to meet Hari, and they become fast friends. 

Kirrinfief may only have four streets, but it has more than its share of characters. My favorite is the airy-fairy daycare provider who doesn’t believe in discipline and holds a “meditation circle”, which is about as successful as one would imagine with rambunctious preschoolers. 

Zoe’s situation reminded me of Maria’s in “The Sound of Music”: each has no idea of what to expect, no formal training, yet feels confident enough to meet any challenge. Each is faced with several children, who have no mother, and a father so remote he might as well not be there. Zoe, like Maria, instinctively knows that the children need love and attention more than anything, guidance from a responsible adult who will set boundaries and rules to provide structure, nourishing food, and the security of at least one parent home at all times.

Zoe sees past Mary’s bad behavior to the pain she tries so desperately to hide. Mary craves a mother’s love and attention, as does Patrick. He never knew his mother, has never had a bedtime story, or a mother’s kiss goodnight. Mary wears a nightgown all day because she has outgrown most of her clothes. These kids need parents who will provide for their physical as well as their emotional needs. Parents who will always be there, and show patience and understanding.

Ramsay needs help as much the kids do; he needs a partner and lover who loves his kids. Zoe does love them, and he is profoundly grateful for the extraordinary difference she has made in their lives. : Each of them has blossomed under the sunshine of her love. 

This story is so much more than a simple romance, however. There is mystery and adventure, and a boatload of memorable characters.
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