Nora Stephens is the career-driven, city person that gets left behind in the typical romance novels when the male character heads to a small town for a business trip and has a “reawakening”.
So, when her sister Libby insists that they take a trip to Sunshine Falls, the location where Nora’s favourite client based her widely popular novel, she begrudgingly agrees. After all, there’s a checklist included and this can be the perfect time to reconnect with her sister since their mother’s demise.
In the author’s note, Emily Henry talks about how this novel is a homage to characters like Nora. Having read this, I can tell you for a fact that it’s a homage to life in all its glory.
Especially life as a reader or writer or editor or simply anyone who has ever proclaimed, “Books are magic”
I laughed out loud and teared up more times than I could count while reading Book Lovers. There’s something so innately warm about it, with every page drawing you further in so that you can’t set it down.
When I first read People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry’s writing mesmerized me. Here was an author whose characters shined bright. Her story had such potential. But then my hope tapered off with the way the story progressed after the midpoint.
Book Lovers was all that I’d hoped for it to be and then some more. It still brings a smile to my face when I think about it.
Honestly, Sunshine Falls and what it means to some of the characters resonated with me. I’ve been a city person all my life. But ever since my Gilmore Girls marathon a few years ago, I know why places like Stars Hollow (and Sunshine Falls) hold a lot of appeal to people, I know why someone would want to belong to such a place and call it home.
And so, the chapters after Libby and Nora set off to Sunshine Falls are some of my favourites in the novel.
The highlight of the book is without a doubt the writing. It is witty, humorous, fierce, and highly relatable. Since it is written from Nora’s perspective, the narration feels almost like Nora is talking to the reader, and that makes it all the more immersive.
The story is as much plot-driven as it is character-driven. I really like Nora’s character. She is quick thinking, ambitious, protective of her sister, and just a fantastic protagonist! Her dedication to her work is something that makes her even more relatable.
Their sisterhood also adds a lot to the story. It brings out different traits in both Libby and Nora.
As someone who enjoys epistolary elements, I was thrilled that there’s a list in the book – a list of things Libby and Nora would try in Sunshine Falls. Although several items on the list sort of get pushed to the backseat, I didn’t mind that.
The romance angle, while a significant element in the book, wasn’t what I loved the most about it. Nora and Charlie getting together is a given, considering how they got acquainted. So even if you are not looking to read it as a rom-com, you’d still enjoy it.
Charlie’s story unfolds seamlessly throughout the chapters. While he plays a key role in Nora’s life, I was glad to read his backstory too.
All in all, a splendid read for 2022 and I’m confident that I’ll pick up more of Emily Henry’s works in the future!
Note – I received an ALC of this book from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review.