Would you want to run a bookshop?
I’m not sure I would – I love being lazy and dreamy around books. I don’t know if I’d want to make them my job so they felt like work. I want them always to be for pleasure! But, I mean – I probably wouldn’t say no. (ha!)
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner follows three women who work at Bloomsbury Books – an old-fashioned bookstore in London. They are strong, independent women who find themselves mostly making a lot of tea for the men who run the store and make all the stores rules. But Vivien, Grace and Evie have big plans.
The men’s antiquated views are actually hurting the fate of the store – refusing to carry the most prominent books by famous women authors or having them come to the store for events. And they don’t give much responsibility to the women who work there, even though they are essentially what makes the whole store run smoothly. But they cannot deny it much longer – the world is changing.
Told in multiple points of view, there is something for everyone in this delightful story! Romance, strong female friendships, and everything bookish you could ask for. But also important and relevant storylines including standing up for yourself and finding courage, with historically accurate themes of racism, homophobia, and misogyny. The narrative weaves all of these elements seamlessly and quite impressively!
“An illuminating yarn… Fans of emotional historical fiction will be charmed.”
Equally heartwarming and compelling, the story even has a bit of mystery surrounding an extremely rare book. As you cross paths with some familiar literary women including Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, and Peggy Guggenheim, you cannot help but feel like you are immersed in the time and place and the characters all feel so very real. A book lovers dream.
Bloomsbury Girls is a passionate ode to cultivating relationships, following your dreams, taking a stand, and the comforting, yet powerful love of books – and the stores and people who sell them.
The most perfect read for historical fiction book lovers! Fans of the authors previous book – The Jane Austen Society – will love the Easter eggs and characters from that story!
“Bloomsbury Girls is a book lover’s dream, one of those rare reads that elicits a sense of book-ish wistfulness and nostalgia. Jenner has created a colorful cast of characters in a story about friendship, perseverance, and the ways that determined women can band together in a man’s world. You’re in for a treat.”
—Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary
- Title: Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel
- Author: Natalie Jenner
- Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (May 17, 2022)
- Length: (368) pages
- Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
- ISBN: 978-1250276698
PRINT & DIGITAL BOOK
About the Book
Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.
Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:
Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances–most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.
Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.
Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.
As they interact with various literary figures of the time–Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others–these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.
About the Author
Natalie Jenner is the author of the instant international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.
A MESSAGE FROM AUTHOR NATALIE JENNER
I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of affection that so many of you have expressed for my debut novel The Jane Austen Society and its eight main characters. When I wrote its epilogue (in one go and without ever changing a word), I wanted to give each of Adam, Mimi, Dr. Gray, Adeline, Yardley, Frances, Evie and Andrew the happy Austenesque ending they each deserved. But I could not let go of servant girl Evie Stone, the youngest and only character inspired by real life (my mother, who left school at age fourteen, and my daughter, who does eighteenth-century research for a university professor and his team). Bloomsbury Girlscontinues Evie’s adventures into a 1950s London bookshop where there is a battle of the sexes raging between the male managers and the female staff, who decide to pull together their smarts, connections, and limited resources to take over the shop and make it their own. There are dozens of new characters in Bloomsbury Girls from several different countries, and audiobook narration was going to require a female voice of the highest training and caliber. When I learned that British stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, CBE, had agreed to narrate, I knew that my story could not be in better hands, and I so hope you enjoy reading or listening to it.
Warmest regards, Natalie
Thank you to AustenProsePR and St. Martin’s Press for the gifted book and for having me on the book tour of Bloomsbury Girls.
I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!”
— Jane Austen