The Holiday Bookshop – Lucy Dickens

Published By: Random House
Pages: 400
Released On: 07/07/2022

Jenny has never been a risk taker. But when her best friend takes off on an American road trip, Jenny finds herself saying yes to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of her own and accepts the role of a bookseller in the Maldives.

The island of Bounty Cove Cay is everything she’d hoped for: white sandy beaches, glistening turquoise waters and palm trees bursting with coconuts. But it’s not all plain sailing.

The resort bookshop is far from thriving and, in an unexpected twist, management are threatening closure.

Can Jenny throw her rulebook to the wind and turn things around before it’s too late? And might she find her own happy ending along the way?


Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I instantly liked that Lucy Dickenson had chosen the pseudonym Dickens for this book, as Dickens of the Charles variety is my favourite author, but sadly this book did not live up to the name.

I am definitely more jealous of the bookshop on the Cornish coast than in the Maldives, but that’s because I like stormy English seas rather than hot tropical beaches.

My first issue is that the synopsis is not truly accurate to the plot of the book, which wasn’t an enormous problem, but if you’re expecting something and end up reading something different, it’s not ideal.

I found Jenny and Marriane a bit jarring for me. They had this friendship that I felt was being shoehorned into a romantic plot and it didn’t work. Neither character acted like adults and I didn’t get the impression that their friendship jelled at all. None of the other characters really left a lasting impression on me either, perhaps Evan to a certain degree, but none were particularly memorable.

I did like the feeling of escapism and travelling, but I feel if you’re going to set one side of the story in the Maldives and half in America then you really need to explore those settings, otherwise it’s a story that really could have stayed in Cornwall.

It was a pleasant read and nothing stood out as particularly bad about it as such, but it’s not going to be one that I recommend as a must read.

It does improve as it goes along but you have to persevere for at last half of it, if not 3/4 to get there. It’s all a bit clunky, there wasn’t much flow and it was just missing that happily-ever-after spark I was expecting.

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