Bookshop of Yesterdays
by Meyerson, Amy


Best Books of Summer 2018 Selection by Philadelphia Inquirer and Library Journal

“Part mystery and part drama, Meyerson uses a complex family dynamic in The Bookshop of Yesterdays to spotlight the importance of truth and our need for forgiveness.” —Associated Press

A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy’s bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda’s twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda’s life. She doesn’t hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy—and one final scavenger hunt.

When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books—now as its owner—she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store’s shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy’s last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy’s past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda’s mother has kept hidden—and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.

Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It’s a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become.

Miranda Brooks is a history teacher in Philadelphia who has just moved in with her boyfriend, Jay. Then she learns her estranged Uncle Billy has died and left her his bookstore, Prospero Books, in Los Angeles. She hasn't visited the bookstore-or her uncle-since he fought with her mother shortly after Miranda's twelfth birthday. Up until that time, Billy had been a fun, if intermittent, presence in her life, planning outings and adventures. Miranda heads home for Billy's funeral, only to discover he left her one last scavenger hunt. The manager and employees of Prospero Books are reluctant to welcome her, fearing she'll close the store. Her parents are oddly reticent on the topic of Uncle Billy. Jay is impatient for her return to Philadelphia. And Miranda needs more time to find the rest of the clues Billy left behind. Meyerson's debut is the coming-of-age story of a young woman who thought she knew what she wanted from her life and must reckon with game-changing discoveries about her past and future. Recommended for bibliophiles who have ever fantasized about inheriting a bookstore. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A woman inherits her late uncle's struggling bookstore in Meyerson's debut novel. Miranda once idolized her uncle Billy—he was charming, adventurous, and always let her pick out any book she wanted from his store, Prospero Books. He planned elaborate scavenger hunts and was full of surprises. But on the night of her 12th birthday, Billy and her mother have an explosive fight. Miranda doesn't know what happened between them, but she loses touch with Billy—until years later, when she's a teacher in Philadelphia. Billy is dead, but he left her his bookstore—and a mysterious book and letter. Determined to figure out what's going on, Miranda returns to Los Angeles and embarks on her final scavenger hunt, following clues that introduce her to books and people from Billy's past. No one will tell her why Billy disappeared from her life—not her mother, her father, or the employees at Prospero Books—so the scavenger hunt is her only hope to figure out what happened. Miranda quickly finds out that Billy wasn't just the fun-loving uncle she remembers—his life was also full of tragedy. As Miranda learns about his history, she must also juggle trying to save Prospero Books and deciding what she wants out of her life. Should she return to teaching and her boyfriend in Philadelphia, or would she rather stay with her family and her bookstore in LA? Miranda's quest to learn more about her uncle leads to some surprises and plenty of references to literature, with clues hidden in classics like Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and Bridge to Terabithia. Meyerson writes beautifully, with lush descriptions of LA and believable interactions between characters. Prospero Books is warm, inviting, and populated with lovably quirky employees readers will want to get to know. A lovely look at loss, family, and the comfort found in a good bookstore. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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