Review: “The Secrets of Paper and Ink” by Lindsay Harrel

What’s better than books? Books with bookish characters, of course!

The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Linsday Harrel fits this description wonderfully. From the bookish nature of one of the heroines, Sophia, to the delightful English village & bookstore setting, this novel encapsulates important themes within a charming environment to deliver its message of healing with care.

About the Book

Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fianc√©, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England–a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author–and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

Two hundred years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

Goodreads | Amazon

Review

The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a delightful women’s fiction novel with a literary bent, historical threads, a little romance, and a message of identity. The main characters, 3 women whose stories span a century, have unique situations on the surface, but all are searching for identity in something or someone. And the setting!!!!! I really, really want to visit Cornwall now. Specifically, the ocean or coastline there. ūüėČ

Sophia and Ginny, in the present timeline, alternate points of view with an intriguing Emily, the historical heroine whose “first person” journal entries intersect and intertwine with theirs. I found the earlier time period was just as captivating and interesting as the present. I would love to see more from Lindsay Harrel with a historical setting!

From being surrounded by books to the nods to literature and a bookworm Sophia (and William!!!), Harrel uses the theme of story to further connect the characters and express life as an ever-growing experience; life as a unique story that is in the process of the telling. And, whose Author is all-knowing even when trials come on the next “page”.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books with Bookish Heroines (and Heroes!)

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

Today’s official topic:¬†Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________:¬†Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc.¬†

This meme is (usually) all about books, so let’s explore that topic further with book characters who ARE #bookish themselves!!! Because let’s face it, bookish people are the coolest. And we booknerds will instantly¬†like and relate to bookish¬†characters. These are a few of my favorites…..

And, because Goodreads is a fun place to hang out, I started a listopia list for this topic!

Inspirational Fiction Books with Bookish Heroines/Heroes

Please feel free to come vote for your favorite bookish characters and add to the list!

(click covers to visit my reviews!)

10 Books with Bookish Heroines (And Heroes!)

A Name UnknownA Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White: Peter Holstein

To put it simply, Peter is the ULTIMATE bookish hero. He writes. He writes stories and letters and scribbles notes on the nearest surface. And don’t get me started on his library, even if it is the messiest and most intimidateing library ever known to man (or, at least, known to Rosemary ūüėČ ).

The Bronte PlotThe Bront√ę Plot by Katherine Reay:¬†Lucy Alling

She “sets aside a day for books”, sells rare books, AND visits classic literature destinations.True to You

True to You by Becky Wade: Nora Bradford

I don’t think there can be a more bookish heroine enamored with the idea of fairy tales. In all of this, she stays grounded and learns important real-life lessons on what makes a true hero.

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The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall: Dexter Blakeley

While Elle is the one who reads classics aloud to an older lady, Dexter is the one that names his animals after literature figures. Like Pip and Knightley. YES.

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Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg: Autumn Kingsley

She’s proud of her eclectic book collection. She even carries books around in her purse.

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay

Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay: Nick

While Lizzy is more eager to discuss books AND food and such, Nick’s intelligent appreciation of books makes an appearance. And when he reads a book that Lizzy loves and does something with THAT ONE AUSTEN “LETTER, his bookish game conquers.

The Road to Paradise

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett: Margie Lane

Margie’s bookish ways have to do with the outdoors’ flora and fauna. This story challenges her and puts her head knowlenge to the test in some exciting ways!

The “Herringford and Watts Mysteries” series by Rachel McMillan:¬†Merinda Herringford

Merinda Herringford is intelligent and smart. Her problem-solving skills are further influenced by her love of Sherlock and application of his methods. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, anyone?!

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Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann: Grace Evangeline

Grace is an author, so she’s automatically bookish. Getting inside her head and seeing her work and develop story is a fun part of the book. And when that combines with Devin’s prowess? Look out, world!

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Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Shepherd Gray: Lydia Bancroft

Lydia loves books AND she works at a library!

Did you participate in this week’s TTT? Do you have a favorite bookish hero or heroine?