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The Secret Book Club by Shauna Robinson : a review

I’m delighted to be sharing Elena’s guest review for The Secret Book Club by Shauna Robinson.

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Book Cover for The Secret Book Club by Shauna Robinson.  A vector of a woman laying down on top of a stack of large books with a book open in her hands

The Secret Book Club by Shauna Robinson

  • Category : Contemporary Fiction
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ One More Chapter (18 Jan. 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0008601968
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0008601966
  • Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads

The Secret Book Club Summary

Maggie Banks loves books. And running a bookstore sounds like the best job in the world. Except in Bell River, a place that refuses to let her sell anything written this century.

But in Maggie’s world, book rules are made to be broken.

And what better way to break tradition than by starting an underground book club. But keeping her new club quiet, selling forbidden books and dodging the strict literary society is proving harder than it seems. Especially when Maggie unearths a secret that could upend everything…

The Secret Book Club Review

Maggie is having a difficult time so to help her out, her best friend Rochelle asks her to run her bookstore for her while she is off on maternity. Arriving in Bell River she quickly realises that it is no ordinary bookshop, selling only classic novels. Of course, this affects the store’s profits and once Maggie starts her new role she begins to try and find a way to make more money for her friend.

Not agreeing with the concept of only selling classics, she gains support from locals by setting up and running a book club, using contemporary books. It proves a great success and garners a lot of interest with members agreeing not to tell the owner of the bookstore, Ralph (he only allows books to be sold that were written at the time that the town’s famous author was alive). Soon however, it becomes very difficult to keep on top of the secrecy and lies and she passes off the sales of the contemporary books as those of the classics, which is very misleading!

Bell River really is what Maggie needs. She’s never been able to keep a job, has no prospects, no love life and not much of a future. She also doesn’t read books! Her relationship with Malcolm is sweet and shows lots of promise as does her talent for organising events at the bookshop.

The Secret Book Club is a sweet and endearing read, set in a small town steeped in history and tradition.

The characters are likeable (except for Ralph) and I enjoyed reading about Maggie’s growth and development as a person due to her new job and friends. I knew that there would be a day of reckoning for her eventually but despite this enjoyed reading about her efforts to fit in and shake things up in the old town.

A well written and comforting book!

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About the Author

Shauna Robinson’s love of books led her to try a career in publishing before deciding she’d rather write books instead. Originally from San Diego, she now lives in Virginia with her husband and their sleepy greyhound. Shauna is an introvert at heart—she spends most of her time reading, baking, and figuring out the politest way to avoid social interaction. She is the author of Must Love Books and The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks. https://www.shaunarobinsonbooks.com/ Twitter @shaunarobs

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