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July 9, 2024

The Bookshop Sisterhood by Michelle Lindo-Rice ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

When life rewrites the story, only friendship will see them through.

After years of hard work, four best friends—Celeste, Yasmeen, Toni and Leslie—are finally on the verge of opening the bookstore of their dreams. A place where their community can find solace with an intriguing new read, a comforting beverage and book-loving friends.

But before they can cut the ribbon, their worlds are upended.

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

book cover of women's fiction novel The Bookshop Sisterhood by Michelle Lindo-Rice
July 2024; MIRA; 978-0778310389
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); women's fiction

I love books set in bookstores and libraries, and I love to read women's fiction in the summer. So I thought Michelle Lindo-Rice's new book The Bookshop Sisterhood would be the perfect read. But I was so wrong. I almost could not finish this book.

First off, we are barely introduced to the characters when we are dropped into their soap opera-worthy drama with men. Since I didn't get to know the characters there was no connection with them and therefore I had little care for their problems. And then, how they handled their problems made me dislike all the main characters. They were constantly sniffling or being nasty to each other only to turn right around and pledge that they were there for each other. These women would not have been my friends in real life. They felt false and un-genuine in their claims of friendship. 

Don't even get me started on their lack of proper grammar when speaking. Using "ain't" is a pet peeve of mine so that grated on my nerves but what really got under my skin was the lack of the verb "are" in their dialogue. 

Then there were the inaccuracies that could have been cleared up with a simple Google search. I like for my realistic fiction to be based on reality and not just how the author thinks the real world works. For example, Yasmeen is taking her father to his colonoscopy appointment. Ironically, when I read this scene it was the morning of my own colonoscopy. Yasmeen makes a comment to her father about needing to be empty because her mother had made him an egg sandwich. However, the night before she stopped and got fast food for her parents and later ordered a pizza. I know for a fact that the day before a colonoscopy you are on a clear liquid diet.

Another example... when Toni is at the gynecologist's office she is taken from the waiting room by a Physician Assistant (PA) to see a doctor. I see a PA and she never gets me from the waiting room - a nurse does. And I only see the PA, not the MD in the office. I don't think the author (or the editors) understands what a PA is.

In a lot of ways it reminded me of the fanfiction stories I read 20 years ago where writers often got the real-world workings wrong because they weren't taking the time to do even basic research (which we overlooked, or left comments about, as these were considered first draft stories).

While I love women's fiction, I don't care for romance novels. And with all the talk of sex and texting nude pictures so too much like a raunchy romance novel for me.

I was also disappointed with the lack of talk about the bookstore. I felt deceived as there was actually very little time spent discussing the bookstore and even their book club meetings barely discussed books. I mean they mention playing games but we don't see that. Instead, they once again discuss men. 

As you can see I was very disappointed with this book. I read it in big chunks just to get through it and tried not to roll my eyes too much at the ridiculousness of it all. However, I know that everyone has different reading tastes so if you enjoy romance novels then this will probably be a more enjoyable read for you. 

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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