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November 20, 2022

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Maggie Banks has been floating through life, not quite sure where she fits in. When her friend Rochelle asks her to fill in at Cobblestone Books while Rochelle is on maternity leave Maggie jumps at the chance to make a little money and get out her parents' house - even if it's only for a couple of months. Bell River is dedicated to all things Edward Bell -  a famous author who wrote a book at the bookstore. There are a lot of rules to protect the image of Edward Bell. Unfortunately, Maggie isn't very good at following rules.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of romantic comedy novel The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson
November 2022; Sourcebooks Landmark; 978-1728246444
audio, ebook, print (336 pages); romantic comedy

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks
 was a fun book that I would call a light rom-com/women's fiction mashup.

It wasn't what I thought it would be about. From the title, I thought Maggie ran a bookstore that was dedicated to selling banned books. Instead, you get an almost cultish town dedicated to a turn-of-the-century author. A white male author who published during a time when women and definitely people of color were hard-pressed to get their work published.

Maggie is trying to find her path in life and while there are some silly romance tropes that are typical of a rom-com, there is also a deeper thread that is more of what you find in women's fiction.

I liked Maggie and the other characters. I enjoyed the fun moments like her attendance at a book conference. You should also know that Maggie doesn't really read so you can probably see the set-up for some of the bookstore antics she gets into. 

The only thing that irked me about the book is that it is obvious pretty really on the kind of job Maggie is best suited for. I don't know why her friends and family hadn't pointed it out. I won't tell you the career I think Maggie should be doing because that would spoil some of the things Maggie gets up to and as they comprise some of the best moments in the book I don't want to ruin it for you. 

If you are looking to diversify your reading with books featuring people of color, this is a fun novel. It would also make a great book club book as there are a number of issues raised that would lend itself to an awesome discussion.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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