The Bright Ideas Bookstore is more than a book shop. This independent book seller is the home for an eclectic bunch of people, The staff that work there, the customers and the bookfrogs.
It was a new word for me as well, but I think it’s a great name.
What are they? They are the people who populate the store, day-in-day-out, reading books in the comfort of the store, sometimes even buying a book, but only when they’re on special offer. They remind me of the coffee shop Bedouins who populate tables with their laptops making a small coffee last for hours. Some of the Bookfrogs are homeless people looking for shelter, some are lonely singletons who prefer the shop to their empty homes, some are just book lovers.
Each Bookfrog has a story and Joey is no exception. Unfortunately Joey’s story comes to an end when he hangs himself in the store.
But why hang himself there, and why now.
The main protagonist of the book is a 30 year old bookish, bookstore worker Lydia. Lydia is one of the last staff in the store and discovers Joey hanging in a secluded section of the shop just before a late close. Whilst she holds his legs and calls for help she notices a photo sticking out of his pocket. The photo is of Lydia, and her two school friends, at Lydias 10th birthday party.
But Lydia has only known Joey from his visits to the shop, and she has never seen this photo before.
Not many people have known Lydia since she was that 10 year old. In fact there is a very good reason why nobody in her life knows anything about her childhood or her family. Just after the photo was taken Lydia was the only survivor of a gruesome crime and went into hiding with her Dad. The man who committed the crime was never found and has haunted Lydia ever since.
So why has Joey got her picture?
As she starts to look into Joeys life she is astonished to find out that she has “inherited” his belongings. Amongst the belongings are some books which have been cut up. Why would Joey cut up books, they were the only thing that seemed to mean anything to him?
Lydia goes on a journey into her own past and starts to piece together Joeys history. It’s a great journey and makes for a really good story.
I’ve read some of the reviews for this book on Amazon. I have to say they are either neutral or negative. I have to disagree. This is a great book to just pass away the summer afternoon and long evenings.
If you are looking for sex and violence then this book won’t be for you.
If you want to read a book that makes you engage with the characters; that has a slightly socially awkward main protagonist; that has a simple but engaging storyline; this book is for you.
Publisher: William Heinemann
Published: Available from 24th August 2017.
Available on Amazon to pre-order now