Heart-breaking, compassionate tragedy


The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

Book Review:  5 out of 5 star rating

Hannah has come to town and wants to open a bookshop though no one believes it will succeed.  She hires Tom Hope to help her build some shelves.  Tom recognizes a heart-broken person in Hannah as Tom is one himself.  His wife Trudy left him and took her son, Peter, with her.  Tom loved Peter like a son and he misses him dreadfully.  Hannah, well, Hannah has met with more grief than most when she was taken to Auschwitz.  Both of these broken-hearted souls will learn whether they can be healed or be haunted by their losses forever.

I was completely mesmerized by this beautifully written book.  I can see why this was compared to “The Light Between Oceans” because it had that same tragic, soul-wrenching quality to it.  This book just wouldn’t let go of my heart.  It’s filled with compassion for the human spirit and treats its characters with such a gentle, loving touch.  I loved Tom, Hannah and Peter and hated to part with them.  I read so many books and some I remember, some I don’t, but I know I will never forget this one.  Just gorgeous.

One added note of a part in the book that I loved.  It was Hannah’s goal for her bookshop to sell twenty thousand books, the exact number of books, many written by Jews, which were burned in Opernplatz, Berlin.  Such a wonderful example of turning something terrible into a thing of beauty.

Most highly recommended.  I absolutely loved it.

This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.


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