Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
We all love to read & we all find stories in different ways – some of us only purchase new books, others hound away at sleuthing out second hand shops, library sales &/or used book searches online; still others opt for the bargain bins or choose to listen to audiobooks (or ebooks) whilst some of us do a mixture of those things but also attempt to purchase books from Indies moreso than big box stores and we love supporting our local & regional libraries!
This brings me to my featured guest today – Mary Gibson – who is hear to talk about her latest release “The Bermondsey Bookshop” wherein this towne in the UK had a bookstore for awhile but then found itself without it. It is not just a store about a shop and the townespeople who live there but an echoing chamber of today’s commercial climate for publishing & the readers who are striving to take back their ability to choose how they want to purchase the books which interest them to read.
Why I wanted to host a Q&A for “The Bermondsey Bookshop”:
Stories which involve bookshoppes have the tendency of tipping the scales of my curiosity because there is something to be said about having grown up in a city where one large Indie bookshopped reigned supreme despite the insurgence of big box stores trying to steal their thunder and their sales. I have been an advocate for Indies and Libraries since before I was taller than the stack of books I used to carry out of public libraries! When it comes to Indie bookshoppes – the quirkier the better, I say! Those rambling stores where you need a bit of a map to gather the proper sense of order and alignment with their categories of shelves – where you can not only get lost finding stories but you get overwhelmed by all the plausible stories you can be reading just by spending time there!
Indies help communities as much as libraries and it is a rare honour to find stories in fiction which celebrate the beauty of why we need more advocacy and reader action to help #saveourlibraries and #KeepOurIndiesOPEN! ← randomly just created that tag!
When I read the description for this novel, I immediately felt pulled into the context of the story the author wanted us to feel swept inside. There is something to be said to have an anchouring in a community with a library and/or with an Indie book seller. Both equally deserve full respect and patrons because they each contribute to the greater whole of a community in general. I have loved wandering the stacks at libraries even before I knew what I wanted to research in the Non-Fiction sections whilst at Indies, there is this walkabout vibe about them, where you can simply feel absorbed into the background of the book shoppe and become part of the inertia of bookish joy which happily resides in its atmosphere. At least this was true of my own experiences.
Therefore when I was able to join the blog tour for this release and hear directly from the author how important Indie bookshoppes are and why they are viable assets which need not only protecting but the security of knowing that people are not going to abandon them – I knew this was going to be one of the blog tours I would love hosting!
On listening to the audiobook sampler:
A bit of good news! This audiobook is available via #Scribd!
It was hard to reconcile that the voice who is criticising Kate to the degree of cruelty is her own Aunt! She doesn’t give Kate enough credit nor does she seem motivated to encourage Kate’s own dreams for herself. If anything, I took it that this Aunt has a distinct path she thinks Kate must follow and any diversion therein is not going to sit well with her at all. Or even be approved – she seems that type – where she’d veto your plans before you can even break free of her rule!
You can tell Kate hasn’t had it easy in her life – her Aunt still holds over the choices of her Mum and makes direct accusations about Kate’s life through a vindictive assumption that ‘daughters will follow their Mums’ even if that doesn’t make any logical sense to anyone else – her Aunt wants to punish Kate for what Kate’s Mum choose to do with her own life.
She has to bolster herself against the tides of her life – of the routes her footsteps must take before she can brace for her truer independence. This felt immediately like a dramatic look into how one woman found a way to beat the odds and give back to a community in the process of finding her own freedom.
I very much look forward to listening to the rest of the story – as finding it was available on Scribd is a lifesaver! I try to request as many audiobooks as I can at the library but lately I am finding a lot are not available to be purchased – blessedly, Scribd has some of them and when I re-join in March I have a lovely listening list now to move through! If anyone wants to know more about Scribd kindly leave me a comment or DM me.
In regards to the narrator Anne Dover:
I recognised the accent and tone of the voice coming through my headphones but I singularly could not directly place whom the narrator was making me thing of as soon as I heard her narrating the story? It was one of those moments where you get your attention hooked from the first second you hear the narrator speak – and then, happily, its off to listening to the arc of the story the author’s left behind for you to find.
She switches between different ages very seamlessly – you could hear the innocence still in Kate’s voice whilst there is an older voiced character making her feel uneasy because they’d rather chide her than encourage her in her goals. Dover has the capacity to dimensionally resonate with the story as Gibson intended it to be absorbed because of how she’s articulating the story aloud. I love when narrators can do this – make the bridge into the author’s vision without any gaps for the reader to question. You are simply ‘removed into the story’ and it there you wish to reside until the end.
Did I grab your eye and attention?
Sound like the kind of bookish read you’ve been needing?
Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this delightful convo we shared!
The Bermondsey Bookshop
by Mary Gibson
Set in 1920s London, this is the inspiring story of Kate Goss's struggle against poverty, hunger and cruel family secrets. Her mother died in a fall, her father has vanished without trace, and now her aunt and cousins treat her viciously. In a freezing, vermin-infested garret, factory girl Kate has only her own brave spirit and dreams of finding her father to keep her going.
She has barely enough money to feed herself, or to pay the rent. The factory where she works begins to lay off people and it isn't long before she has fallen into the hands of the violent local money-lender. That is until an unexpected opportunity comes her way –a job cleaning a most unusual bookshop, where anyone, from factory workers to dockers, can learn to read and then buy books cheaply. A new world opens up, but with it come new dangers, too. Based on the true story of the Bermondsey Bookshop, this is the most inspiring and gripping novel Mary Gibson has yet written.
Places to find the book:
Published by Head of Zeus
on 1st August, 2020
Ebook & Audiobook releases 6th February, 2020!
Hardback and Trade Paperback releases 1st August, 2020!
Converse via: #TheBermondseyBookshop, #HistFic & #WomensFiction Read More