Lucy works in an antiques shop where she is responsible for old books. They themselves are already attractive but she knows how to enhance their mystery and by using her gift of storytelling, she can make the buyers believe in long and interesting histories of them. When her boy-friend James finds out about this and feels betrayed, they split up. Yet, his grandmother Helen has come to like the young girl and asks her to accompany her to Europe where she has some hidden secrets to solve before she dies. Thus, the two very different women’s trip becomes a mixture of classic novel stories by Austen and the Brontës mixed with their own lives’ stories.
A lovely novel which cleverly integrates the British literature. Again and again parallels are drawn and the 19th century entangled with our modern world. Caught between the old and antique and at the same time everyday problems, Katherine Reay makes her protagonists resemble those rare humans who can indulge in the book world and create a world of their own which can provide them with ideas for their life when returning to reality. Her language, too, very often reminded me of the British classics why I loved reading it especially.