Title: The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession
Author: Charlie Lovett
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Thriller/Literary Fiction
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: An intelligent, mysterious, genre-bender of a novel, I was completely and utterly glued to The Bookman's Tale--I finished it in less than a day!
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Peter Byerly has spent the last nine months mourning his late wife, Amanda. Trying to get away from concerned relatives and friends, he flees to England, hoping to find solace in his work: bookselling. But when he finds a Victorian painting of what looks suspiciously like Amanda, Peter becomes obsessed with discovering its origins, leading him on a race against and across time as he struggles to solve the mystery.. A mystery that just might be better left buried..
What I enjoyed:
-The tender, gentle prose that follows Peter across time--I couldn't stop reading!
-I really enjoyed the way the novel genre jumped: it seemed as though the author combined domestic fiction, thriller, and book porn all into one novel and spun it like Rumpelstiltskin with straw
-I liked the way it felt like three stories all at once: Amanda and Peter's courtship and marriage, the glimpses into Victorian England, and then the jump back to modern England
-One of the things I loved most about this book was how intelligent the mystery was, how well thought out it was--normally I can predict mysteries pretty well, but I didn't see this one coming!
-Peter--he was a really relatable character to me, especially with his anxiety, and I liked the way he grew throughout the novel
-Amanda--she was really the most human of all the characters to me, flawed but beautiful and sweet
-Lucy, the hilarious British smartass who accompanies Peter throughout this nail-biting adventure
What could've been better:
-Even though I liked the way the novel moved across time, it felt like as the pacing sped up it all got a little muddled
-It was hard to keep track of all the historical people during the Victorian areas of the book
I really, really liked The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession! Fans of The Da Vinci Code would love this one! Next on deck: Chop Chop by Simon Wroe!