The Bookshop

by Penelope Fitzgerald | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0006543545 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Starry-Starry of Llandrindod Wells, Wales United Kingdom on 4/10/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Starry-Starry from Llandrindod Wells, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, April 10, 2005
Shortlisted for Booker Prize. It is set in a small East Anglian costal town, where Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition to open a bookshop.

13th April 2006
I suspect that at least half the nuances and references in this book have gone over my head, as I read too quickly to truly appreciate her excellent writing. However.

I liked this book. Though short, 123 pages, the characters were remarkably full and interesting and as in all little towns or communities there were several very irritating inhabitants as well as one or two who must be friends. The story is deceptively simple and provides a lot of insight into small town life - she could have been writing about my own small town as I recognised a lot of the characteristics and small-mindedness. The more I think about it, the more I like the book.

22nd April 06
On its way to Rainbowandrain - enjoy!

Journal Entry 2 by bookwormteacher from Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
This arrived today, thanks so much, will get started straight away.

Journal Entry 3 by bookwormteacher from Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Sunday, April 15, 2007
After reading this book I now most definitely want to run a bookshop! Anyone fancy joining me!? This is a really great book, I highly recommend it. I am going to send this book out in a ring or ray because I have hogged it enough:)

OK this is going on a journey!

Update 8/2/09
How bizarre yesterday I took the notes off my bookshelf about this book thinking it was lost forever and then today I got a journal entry about it! How weird! So it is off on its travels again:)

Released 13 yrs ago (4/27/2007 UTC) at To the next participant in Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



Controlled release to ziggythecat, the first person on this ray.

Journal Entry 5 by ziggythecat from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, April 28, 2007
Arrived safely this morning - first bookray book I've had for ages & ages (been trying to behave!). Still get an excited tingle when a BC envelope thuds through the letterbox.

Journal Entry 6 by ziggythecat from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 12, 2007
A lovely short novel. Beautifully written and the characters were impressively drawn in such a few chapters (I particularly liked? Milo). Made me happy, sad, optimistic and frustrated in turns.

Thanks Rainbowandrain for sharing it.

Journal Entry 7 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, May 27, 2007
Really sorry, I've probably had this for a couple of weeks but only discovered that I hadn't journalled it when I went to review it!!

This is a gentle story, one of those where nothing much seems to happen but in reality a lot changes. I actually felt the book was far too short - it would have worked okay as a short story but I felt that I wanted to know more about the characters and 123 pages just wasn't satisfying enough. There were too many relationships that changed inexplicably and I wanted to know why - such as Christine's sudden about-turn from being Florence's noble assistant and friend to working elsewhere, and Milo's odd back-stabbing when I felt he was a friend, not foe. An odd little novel, not enough for me I'm afraid - but thanks for letting me read it.

I'll pass this on to BGM as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 8 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Sunday, July 01, 2007
Handed to me during the rain and mayhem that was the Brighton UnConvention 2007...well done Alison and the committee, they didn't stop running around all day.

ps. starting reading this already :)

Journal Entry 9 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 03, 2007
This is an amusing atmospheric tale (novella) about a people and a place, specifically a small-town bookshop that falls foul of the local resistance to change, in the sense of an immovable object (Florence Green) meeting an irresistible force (Mrs. Violet Gamart).

Set in the fictional Suffolk Coastal town of Hardborough, but with enough clues to place if quite accurately, both geographically and temperamental in this county that I love; and despite the rather sad ending, I’m sure Fitzgerald held a great affection for the funny (odd) people and the glorious countryside.

Some quotes from the, as always, clever spare prose from one of my favourite authors:

Suffolk understatement; “The word in Hardborough for ‘mad’ was ‘not quite right’, just as ‘very ill’ was ‘moderate’.”

The local plumber and man-of-works fixes the plumbing for Mrs. Green to move into the previously uninhabited ‘Old House’. “As soon as Sam Wilkins had fixed the bath to his own satisfaction.” - a deceptive slow but solid outlook on life and the pursuit of a craft which I recognise!

According to PF the majority of the late middle aged and upper middle-class become watercolourists, and paint landscapes, ‘All their pictures looked much the same. Framed, they hung in sitting rooms, while outside the windows the empty, washed-out, unarranged landscape stretched away to the transparent sky.’

Mrs. Gamart, the ‘patroness of all that was of value in Hardborough’, would like to have been fully accepted and counted as a friend and confidante by the reclusive old Mr. Brundish, ‘…since she had been [at the Stead] for only fifteen years and was not of Suffolk origin, her wishes had been in vain.’

Acquaintances approaching from a distance, ‘…because the land was so flat and the approach was slow, had to wave again as they drew nearer, reserving their smiles until the last moment.’

Released 13 yrs ago (7/12/2007 UTC) at A Fellow Bookcrosser in Controlled Release, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases



On its way to PurpleElephant...enjoy :)

Journal Entry 11 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Monday, July 16, 2007
Book arrived this morning. thank you bookgroupman. This is next in line in mount TBR...

Journal Entry 12 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Thursday, September 27, 2007
Ah so sorry I've kept this book for so long everyone.
I actually read it ages ago in a couple of days and really enjoyed it. I'm definitely a Penelope fitzgerald convert.
I contacted willowfae for an address but didn't hear back. Will try again and send it on its way.
Sorry everyone.

Journal Entry 13 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Just going through my books and I found this one. Sorry everyone who is waiting for this. I have not heard from Willowfae but have now contacted Bonnie0907 so I can get this one moving ASAP. Apologies once again.

Released 11 yrs ago (1/28/2009 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom



Posted today. Sorry for delay.

Journal Entry 15 by bonnie0907 from Ryde, Isle Of Wight United Kingdom on Saturday, February 07, 2009
Sorry about the delay in registering my receipt of this book. The poor book seems fated to be delayed all along its way!! I will start reading it by the middle of the coming week, and I will send it on its way as quickly as possible. Many thanks to Purlelephant and Bookwormteachr.

Journal Entry 16 by bonnie0907 from Ryde, Isle Of Wight United Kingdom on Saturday, February 14, 2009
I really enjoyed this little book. It is a lot like life. It moves along quite gently without the characters realising that things are moving around them. I was sorry that Florence lost out in the end, but I am hopeful for her.
Thanks to bookwormteacher to including me on this list. I am trying to contact Mmepotage so that I can send it on to her.

Journal Entry 17 by bonnie0907 from Ryde, Isle Of Wight United Kingdom on Monday, February 23, 2009
I now have Mmepotage's address and the book will be on its way to her tomorrow.

Journal Entry 18 by MmePotage on Saturday, February 28, 2009
Safely arrived from Bonnie907, thank you.

Journal Entry 19 by MmePotage on Sunday, April 19, 2009
I've really enjoyed this gently cutting book, well and succinctly drawn characters, and the horribly inevitable conclusion. I shall read more Penelope Fitzgerald. A friend who runs a bookshop was given this book by an aunt when she opened her bookshop!

Trying to contact bluecat07..., if I don't succeed soon I will contact next person on list.

Journal Entry 20 by MmePotage on Monday, July 13, 2009
This book is off on its travels to the US of A (Florida) and I hope will arrive before the hurricanes, in its brown paper parcel tied up with string.

Journal Entry 21 by Ilios from Tampa, Florida USA on Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Hello, all! I just returned from a weekend in Fort Lauderdale to find this little parcel in my mailbox. I loved the old school feel of the package! Thanks again for sending it across the pond. I will update this entry as soon as I am done reading it.

Journal Entry 22 by Ilios from Tampa, Florida USA on Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I am starting this book today. CAn't wait to jump in.

Journal Entry 23 by Ilios at Tampa, Florida USA on Sunday, October 04, 2015
I am totally mortified that I read this book, lost it in my own house, and now found it and realized it has been languishing for a journal entry and to be send to next next bxer forever.

So before I sent this on, I re-read the book. it is a very short read, and full of the English humor that one expects. it is sharp, funny, and bittersweet. Ms. Fitzgerald is able to create the semi-closed environment of a small English fishing village as a herpetologist builds a terrarium, all in scant 120 pages.

Sending to accountkel tomorrow.

Journal Entry 24 by acountkel at Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, October 13, 2015
I am litterly astonished this book arrived after 8 years on a bookray list! This is really the beauty of bookcrossing. No worries Ilios, I think its great I received this after all of these years. Y'all are going to have to help me though, is a bookray one I read and return to the owner? Or do I just release after I'm finished?
Looking forward to reading this. It's been a while since I particpated in one of these. I have ot finishe NAked Prey by Sandford and then I will get right on it!!

Thank you!

Journal Entry 25 by acountkel at Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, December 01, 2015
I feel bad about not liking this book.
This was a tough one to get through.
It just wasn't my cup of tea.
None of the characters were likeable except for Florence.
The characters kind of remind me of a place my husband and I went several years ago. It is an island off the coast of Maine. We noticed how unfriendly the people on the island were. Maybe it's the hard living on the island that makes them this way. The appropriate word that comes to mind is "Cold"

Thank you for including me in this bookray.
I think I'm going to free release the book.

Journal Entry 26 by acountkel at Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Sending to Chicago Illinois as a bookmooch

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.