The Printed Letter Bookshop

The Printed Letter Bookshop

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter BookshopOne of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured...

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Title:The Printed Letter Bookshop
Author:Katherine Reay
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Printed Letter Bookshop Reviews

  • Emilee

    My first book of 2019 was a winner! I throughly enjoyed Janet, Claire and Madeline’s stories. I was deeply touched by these characters and their relationships. I hated for this book to end. Katherine Reay did a beautiful job with this novel.

    I won an Advance Reader’s Copy. All opinions are my own.

  • Melissa Tagg

    I loved this book so, so, so much...and on the one hand, that doesn't surprise me at all, because I've loved all of Katherine Reay's books. But on the other hand, I was surprised at how personally touching this story was...it could not possibly have landed in my life at a better time. I finished it weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it!

    It's Katherine Reay, so of course the writing is lovely. I adored the bookshop setting ... and I especially loved the relationships formed between the three m

    I loved this book so, so, so much...and on the one hand, that doesn't surprise me at all, because I've loved all of Katherine Reay's books. But on the other hand, I was surprised at how personally touching this story was...it could not possibly have landed in my life at a better time. I finished it weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it!

    It's Katherine Reay, so of course the writing is lovely. I adored the bookshop setting ... and I especially loved the relationships formed between the three main characters—three women with their own hurts and haunts and hopes. Janet was honestly the most surprising to me...she's prickly and hard, but she ended up tugging my heart so strongly. Claire's story is one, I think, that many, many women will relate to. And Madeline was so relatable and so believable.

    I feel like whatever I write in this review isn't going to do justice to how profoundly affected I was by this book. But suffice it to say, I will definitely be reading it again!

  • Staci

    Charming.

    Katherine Reay continues a literary theme in The Printed Letter Bookshop although in a slightly different way from her prior novels. There is a cozy feel about reading the pages despite the very difficult realities covered.

    Three women struggling with different aspects of life find solidarity, fulfillment and guidance in a small town bookshop. I adored all three women and loved the chemistry between them.

    Simply delightful and highly recommended.

    My gratitude to the author for a compliment

    Charming.

    Katherine Reay continues a literary theme in The Printed Letter Bookshop although in a slightly different way from her prior novels. There is a cozy feel about reading the pages despite the very difficult realities covered.

    Three women struggling with different aspects of life find solidarity, fulfillment and guidance in a small town bookshop. I adored all three women and loved the chemistry between them.

    Simply delightful and highly recommended.

    My gratitude to the author for a complimentary ARC of the novel. I was not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  • Hannah

    Okay, so this is about three women and a bookshop...how much better does it get? Oh, did I say troubled bookshop and troubled ladies? Yep. This is a slow unfolding of everything that’s going on, and plenty of small-town intrigue going on as well. Broken relationships, troubled kids, and so on. Can working together around the books, trying to save the bookstore, do anything to turn these women’s lives around?

    This one’s more of a literary fiction than her previous ones have been, and the faith mes

    Okay, so this is about three women and a bookshop...how much better does it get? Oh, did I say troubled bookshop and troubled ladies? Yep. This is a slow unfolding of everything that’s going on, and plenty of small-town intrigue going on as well. Broken relationships, troubled kids, and so on. Can working together around the books, trying to save the bookstore, do anything to turn these women’s lives around?

    This one’s more of a literary fiction than her previous ones have been, and the faith message is very subtle, but present: true peace is only found in God, not in an affair or in a bottle of wine. General market readers would probably hardly even notice it.

    I will say a word of caution about the books quoted. Unlike

    , which was the reason I discovered a few more clean authors (notably Anne Perry’s mysteries), this book is about a bookstore and there are many, many books mentioned and/or discussed. Some are clean and some aren’t (Lolita, etc). So for the younger readers out there, I’d advise checking any reading list with an adult or a more mature friend before making out a want-to-read list.

    Content: drinking, books mentioned in passing that have content in them

    Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for a free ebook. A positive review was not required.

  • Krista

    Rating: 4 bookish stars

    “The Printed Letter Bookshop” was an endearing bit of Chick-Lit, (or Women’s Fiction) that for some reason I just couldn't put down. I read most of it in a single day. I got pulled into the story and couldn’t drag myself away. I loved the bookshop setting and all the book references. At the end of the book, the author provided a list of the books from which quotes were used throughout her story. I appreciate that the list was provided. I was delighted to see how many of th

    Rating: 4 bookish stars

    “The Printed Letter Bookshop” was an endearing bit of Chick-Lit, (or Women’s Fiction) that for some reason I just couldn't put down. I read most of it in a single day. I got pulled into the story and couldn’t drag myself away. I loved the bookshop setting and all the book references. At the end of the book, the author provided a list of the books from which quotes were used throughout her story. I appreciate that the list was provided. I was delighted to see how many of the quotes I recognized. That kind of book trivia just makes me happy.

    Katherine Reay has written a well-balanced book about family; be it birth family, or ‘family of choice’. The story’s main stage is the Printed Letter Bookshop. It’s a cozy small town bookshop that widowed Aunt Maddie cherished, and lovingly struggled kept open with help from two of her ‘family of choice’ family members, Janet and Claire. Janet is divorced, unhappy, snippy and brilliantly artistic with the window book displays. Claire is fairly new to town, quiet, and behind the scenes is valiantly trying to keep the bookshop afloat while caring for her teenaged kids and oft absent husband.

    When Aunt Maddie passes away and leaves the bookshop to her niece, Madeline, everyone is surprised and a bit dismayed, no-one more so than Madeline herself. Madeline was estranged from Aunt Maddie for many years due to a family fallout. Madeline is working hard to make partner at a prestigious law firm in Chicago, and fully intends to sell the bookshop as quickly as possible.

    Then life happens, and it starts throwing curveballs at everyone. What if Madeline decided to drop her law career and make a home in Aunt Maddie’s house and try to keep the bookstore afloat? Can Janet and Claire with together, and work with Madeline to overcome the obstacles? What if there is a touch of romance? The dramatic tension of all these elements keeps the book moving along. These are the reasons that I found myself unable to put the book down. Aunt Maddie left a list of reading lists for all three ladies, and the lists of course fit their needs expertly. There are references in the later stages of the book to these books. I loved how the author elegantly and appropriately weaved the books and their quotes into the circumstances of Madeline, Janet and Claire’s lives.

    Reading this book was such a nice way to spend an afternoon and evening. By the end of the story I was cheering for all the characters, and pleased with the ultimate ending. I thought that reading the book was time well spent.

    ‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, Thomas Nelson--FICTION; and the author, Katherine Reay; for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Carolyn

    The Printed Letter Bookshop is the type of independent bookshop we all wish we had in our neighborhood. Located in a little town outside Chicago on Lake Michigan, it’s not just full of wonderful books of all genres, but holds lots of author events and has friendly staff who can help you find that perfect book for yourself or someone else. A bookshop that really celebrates the art of reading.

    When the owner of the bookshop, Maddie Cullen dies, the whole town grieves her passing. None more so than

    The Printed Letter Bookshop is the type of independent bookshop we all wish we had in our neighborhood. Located in a little town outside Chicago on Lake Michigan, it’s not just full of wonderful books of all genres, but holds lots of author events and has friendly staff who can help you find that perfect book for yourself or someone else. A bookshop that really celebrates the art of reading.

    When the owner of the bookshop, Maddie Cullen dies, the whole town grieves her passing. None more so than her two friends and employees Janet and Claire who are worried about what will become of them and the bookshop if the new owner, Maddie's estranged niece, Madeline, decides to sell it. Madeline is a corporate lawyer working for a big Chicago law company who certainly doesn’t have time to run a bookshop, but the shop has been running at a loss while Maddie was sick and will need to get back in the black before it goes on the market so Maddie is forced to become involved in the running of the bookshop. Through working with Janet and Claire she comes to know more about Maddie and wonders if she really understands the family rift that had made her keep her distance.

    This is a delightfully written novel about the three women (Janet, Claire and Madeline) and how their relationship with each other and Maddie forces them to re-evaluate their lives and find what is missing.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    My first book from Katherine Reay, and I was endeared to it immediately!

    Madeline grew up in a bookshop working with her Aunt Maddie. Twenty years later, the shop is hers. But Madeline is a different person who’s been through some significant losses. The Printed Letter Bookshop is a shadow of what it once was, and that just makes things worse.

    Madeline is considering selling the workshop.

    Her employees, Janet and Claire, don’t think that’s a good idea. They have too much to lose because the book

    My first book from Katherine Reay, and I was endeared to it immediately!

    Madeline grew up in a bookshop working with her Aunt Maddie. Twenty years later, the shop is hers. But Madeline is a different person who’s been through some significant losses. The Printed Letter Bookshop is a shadow of what it once was, and that just makes things worse.

    Madeline is considering selling the workshop.

    Her employees, Janet and Claire, don’t think that’s a good idea. They have too much to lose because the bookshop has meant stability and healing for each of them.

    Things start looking up for Madeline professionally and romantically, and she quickly reconsiders selling the store.

    The Printed Letter Bookshop is a charming and cozy read. The characters are complex and dynamic. I loved observing the antics between Madeline and her employees. Best of all? It’s a book about books! The bookshop setting had me fully-invested as did the strong storytelling.

    Overall, The Printed Letter Bookshop is about starting over and second chances. It’s filled with hope about the power of friendships and other relationships.

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Fareya

    As a self proclaimed book lover, I am stating the obvious when I say I love books, but what I like even more is reading books about books and bookshops.

    by Katherine Reay is delightful story about books and a bookshop also encompassing hope, friendship, forgiveness and second chances. It’s about finding joy in things we love, letting go of the past and embracing life’s uncertainty.

    At the heart of the story is a quaint small-town independent bookshop – The Printed Lett

    As a self proclaimed book lover, I am stating the obvious when I say I love books, but what I like even more is reading books about books and bookshops.

    by Katherine Reay is delightful story about books and a bookshop also encompassing hope, friendship, forgiveness and second chances. It’s about finding joy in things we love, letting go of the past and embracing life’s uncertainty.

    At the heart of the story is a quaint small-town independent bookshop – The Printed Letter, that Madeline Cullen inherits from her aunt. A successful Chicago lawyer and about to be made partner at her current firm, Madeline does not have the time or inclination to continue running the barely thriving bookshop. In fact, the inheritance came as a shock to her. Almost two decades back, after an unfortunate turn of events strained her dad’s relationship with his sister, Madeline cut off ties too with her once-beloved aunt. But then why was her dad so full of regret at her aunt’s funeral? Did she make a mistake without knowing the whole story? How will she find out what actually happened all those years ago, when no one wants to talk about it?

    While Madeline is struggling with her thoughts about her aunt and the bookshop, several miles away across town, two women, Janet and Claire are also wondering about The Printed Letter Bookshop’s fate. Janet is a fifty something recent divorcee, and one of the two employees at the the bookshop. She lost her closest friend and confidante with Maddie’s death. Both her kids keep her at an arm’s length siding with their father since after the divorce. Maddie’s death has been hard on her and she desperately wants to save the shop and thereby her friend’s lifework and legacy.

    Claire, the other employee has recently moved to town and feels like she’s still settling in. The Printed Letter is the only place that makes her happy, she likes being in control and now with the uncertainty associated with the shop, she feels all control slipping out. After all, what is it that she can do?

    The The Printed Letter Bookshop is what brings these three women together, and as they get to know and help each other, a strong bond of friendship forms between them, Madeline’s aunt Maddie being the common thread. Days turn into weeks and the goal of getting the shop ready to be sold transforms into saving the shop. Alongside we also see the transformations occurring in the lives of the three women. This story isn’t plot elaborate but rather character oriented. Over its course we see, every character growing in their own way towards overcoming fears, accepting the whims of fate and letting go of what one can’t control.

    One thing that particularly delighted me about this book was the innumerable quotes and bookish references throughout. I had so much fun trying to figure out which books were being referenced. The author thoughtfully lists all of the books mentioned directly/indirectly in the story towards the end. After having finished reading this, I spent another hour browsing about the books I hadn’t heard of, and adding a bunch of books to my TBR. How often does that happen!

    A cozy, charming read,

    by Katherine Reay is an ode to independent bookshops and book lovers and I’ll recommend this if you’re looking for an endearing, feel-good story to curl up with. I am definitely going to keep an eye out for the author’s future releases and meanwhile will be checking out her previous works.

  • Erin

    An endearing story about friendship and forgiveness that will leave you with a lengthy list of books to read. Narrated by three different women- Madeline, Janet, and Claire, Katherine Reay creates a story and a setting that when I was finished, I found myself saddened to say goodbye to these characters. Each woman is hurting from past mistakes, but armed with book lists written by a dearly departed friend and the strength of each other, along with a failing bookshop, Madeline, Janet, and Claire

    An endearing story about friendship and forgiveness that will leave you with a lengthy list of books to read. Narrated by three different women- Madeline, Janet, and Claire, Katherine Reay creates a story and a setting that when I was finished, I found myself saddened to say goodbye to these characters. Each woman is hurting from past mistakes, but armed with book lists written by a dearly departed friend and the strength of each other, along with a failing bookshop, Madeline, Janet, and Claire are about to learn about themselves and each other.

    Goodreads Review published 14/05/19

    Publication Date 14/05/19

  • Larry H

    4.5 stars

    "...it often isn't the events that haunt us, though those hold power and can harm us, it is the choices we make within those events we carry all our days."

    Madeline Cullen's aunt Maddie was the owner of the Printed Letter Bookshop in Winsome, a small town outside of Chicago. One of Madeline's fondest memories was spending a few weeks working with her aunt and uncle in the quaint, beloved store, until a family incident caused a seemingly irreversible rift.

    Almost 20 years later, Madeline i

    4.5 stars

    "...it often isn't the events that haunt us, though those hold power and can harm us, it is the choices we make within those events we carry all our days."

    Madeline Cullen's aunt Maddie was the owner of the Printed Letter Bookshop in Winsome, a small town outside of Chicago. One of Madeline's fondest memories was spending a few weeks working with her aunt and uncle in the quaint, beloved store, until a family incident caused a seemingly irreversible rift.

    Almost 20 years later, Madeline is shocked to learn that her aunt left her the store, her house, and all of her possessions. Even more of a surprise, however, is that the store is in serious debt—while her aunt was fantastic to her customers, she wasn't much of a businesswoman. When Madeline leaves her prestigious law firm, she makes the decision to try and get the store back on a more solid financial footing to make it more attractive for purchase.

    "That's what books do, Maddie used to say; they are a conversation, and introduce us to ourselves and to others."

    Madeline isn't counting on the fierce loyalty of the store's two employees, Janet and Claire. Both are dealing with issues of their own, not to mention their grief over losing their friend, and they aren't eager to see Maddie's legacy sold to the highest bidder. For her part, Madeline is surprised by how much she comes to love the store, and even as it continues to struggle financially, she starts to hope for a miracle to turn things around.

    The more time Madeline spends in the bookstore, the more she realizes that her assumptions about her aunt were drastically incorrect. She's more determined than ever to try and make things work, but setback after setback make that possibility even less of a reality. But where does she belong? What path should she follow for the rest of her life? And what would the end of the bookshop mean for Janet and Claire?

    I love books about bookstores almost as much as I love bookstores themselves. Katherine Reay's

    is a terrific new addition to that genre. But in addition to the story about the special relationship between bookseller and customer, and how bookstores often are the heart of communities, this is a book about second chances and the choices we make based on misconceptions.

    Beyond that, this is a book about friendship, love, and hope. The plot is a little predictable, but I was charmed from the start, and I couldn't put this down. I really enjoyed the characters Reay created, and how she wasn't afraid to give each flaws which made them more realistic and more interesting.

    Thanks (I guess) to a case of insomnia, I read this in just a few hours. I went to sleep with a smile on my face, wishing there was a place like The Printed Letter Bookshop in my town. But at least I got to read about it.

    NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction provided me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

    See all of my reviews at

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    Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at

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    You can follow me on Instagram at

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