The Christmas Bookshop


Jenny Colgan

It’s that time of year when I read books with Christmas as a backdrop of the story.  The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan proved interesting because it takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland during the holidays.  I vacationed in Edinburgh during the spring season and I enjoyed myself immensely.

Carmen is the younger of two sisters whose life is offtrack.  She attended University (as they call it in the UK) but failed.  Since that time she has been working at a local department store.  Carmen receives her termination notice and her mother begs Carmen’s older sister Sofia to help Carmen find something to do.

Carmen reluctantly travels to Edinburgh and stays with her sister and her sister’s growing family.  Carmen is challenged with helping an elderly bookshop owner turn a profit during the holiday so that he can sell the shop and have some income.  Carmen’s sister is a successful lawyer with a beautiful house, three kids and a loving husband.  Carmen struggles in Sofia’s shadow. 

This is Chick Lit through and through and as with most Chick Lit, it pulls in many of the same elements as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  The uncomfortable dynamic between the two sisters is not surprising given the gap between their levels of success.  Despite the trials and tribulations Carmen faces, the story is cute and uplifting – especially  at this time of year.  Grab a cup of hot cocoa and curl up with The Christmas Bookshop for some Christmas Cheer.