The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks

Orange Sky Audio. Nov. 2022. 9:18 hrs. ISBN 9781667074108. $60.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Bibliophile Robinson (Must Love Books) brings her book-loving readers into another book-centered story, making room for all readers, no matter their reading preference. Hapless but good-hearted Maggie arrives in Bell River to take over the local bookstore for her friend on maternity leave. It all sounds wonderfully exciting until she discovers the rules of the “Bell Society”: no contemporary novels, no books not available during hometown literary icon Edward Bell’s lifetime, and no questioning the character of said author. As an outsider, Maggie lacks the unquestioning devotion to the town’s beloved author, angering the Bell Society management. Versatile narrator Imani Jade Powers relates Maggie’s words evenly and calmly, bringing out her thought processes and motivations as she searches for a way to save the foundering bookshop. Maggie begins to secretly hold fun genre-themed events and starts an online presence that skyrockets the bookstore’s profitability, but at what cost? Despite toxic Bell Society issues, Maggie finds herself making friends and falling in love with her adopted small town.
VERDICT An uplifting small-town romance with broader appeal.
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