Review: The Book Hater's Book Club by Gretchen Anthony
Submitted by Anne Z. on Mon, 03/06/2023 - 10:33am
The Book Hater's Book Club at first appears to be about a struggling bookstore and its imminent sale. Elliot, the co-owner of Over the Rainbow Bookstore, started The Book Hater's Book Club, a newsletter of reading recommendations for the self-proclaimed non-readers of the world, because he believed there was a book out there for everyone. Something I wholeheartedly agree with! For years he and Irma have kept the store going and always had a recommendation in hand. When you finish this book, you will have yet another list of books to read.
However, this book is about more than just books and a struggling bookstore. It is also about grief, the price of secrets, and a little more grief.
You see, Elliot is gone, and his grief-ridden business partner has agreed to sell the store to developers. Problem is, she didn't tell that to anyone until the deal was almost done. Which is making her daughters ask questions. Why is she selling? Is it grief alone? Is there something else they don't know?
They are not about to give up on the store without a fight. Together Irma's daughters, Bree and Laney, and Elliot's life partner Thom, conspire to figure out just exactly what is happening to Irma and how they can save the store.
In between all the drama unfolding we are treated to letters from beyond the grave. Little snippets told from Elliot's perspective about the characters and a few of his famous The Book Hater's Book Club newsletters.
For the first half of the book there will be times when you will wonder where on earth is the author going with this story. But once all the secrets start to unfold things become clear and the more you read the more you will love all the characters. They are quirky, have messy but very real lives and all the problems that come with it. Bree has spent her whole life in the store and knows nothing else; Laney moved away years ago and is struggling in her marriage; Thom is old and alone and has too much grief and anger to deal with; and Irma has too many secrets and lacks some fundamental communications skills.
You will feel for the characters, maybe sympathize with some as well, and in the end you will be rooting for this little bookstore and sisters Laney and Bree!