Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel

About the Book
Brought together by a charming bookstore in England, three women fight to defy expectations, dream new dreams, and welcome love into their lives.
As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature.
Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance.
Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch.
Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.

My Thoughts
When I read this author’s previous book last year I was absolutely blown away! It was one of my absolute favorite reads from 2018 and the story stuck with me the way few books do. So to say that this book was one of my most anticipated reads for this year would be an understatement! And this book lived up to and exceeded my every expectation! It was beautiful and amazing and I was completely lost in this fictional world from beginning to end. I loved everything. The characters were wonderfully written in such a way that I felt their emotions along with them. And I dare you to find a more utterly charming setting than a bookstore in England!
There were so many things that in the hands of others could have gone horribly wrong, having essentially three stories in one, doing the time split, dealing with difficult subjects, but Lindsay Harrel wove it all seamlessly into this beautiful story!
Each of the three heroine’s stories were unique but still connected and it never felt like anything was lacking. I was equally invested in the lives of all three of them, never rushing through one to get back to another. Also the travel between the present day to the 1800’s was never jarring, it just all flowed together. And she handled the hard topics of things like abuse and unfaithfulness with grace and respect.
I loved watching each of these women grow, discovering more about themselves and God. And it was really cool to see the way God used them to help each other in ways only He could have orchestrated.
I am a diehard romance lover but with this author’s books I never feel like romance is the main purpose of the story, and to be honest I love the way she does it. The romance is there, and it’s happy sigh worthy material, it’s just that the actual story, the characters journey, is what drives the book forward. And the romance just quietly slips in, joining the flow of the story.
In short this book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more! It’s definitely going to be one of my top books for this year and I can already tell it’s going to stick with me just like the previous novel.

Meet the Author
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at LindsayHarrel.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 


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