Book Review – The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan


When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.

At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?


I had seen this book around and was desperate to read it! I can honestly say that it didn’t disappoint me! There is a worry that you set too high expectations for a book that you have seen around gathering positive reviews, and then when you read it, it doesn’t live up to those expectations and you are left feeling disappointed, however I needn’t have worried, it was a great first book of the year to read! 

The writing was simple, clear and humorous in places. The descriptions of Edinburgh and the bookshop were amazing. I really felt like I was there and now immediately want to visit Scotland (when I say immediately I mean in a few years time when the pandemic might be over?!). My interest was kept from beginning to end and I stayed up late on a couple of occassions because I didn’t want to put it down!

The chapters were fairly long so you got immersed in one part of the story before moving on. I particularly appreciated the little picture above the chapter number. 

The characters were great. I loved the mixture of personalities and how they all worked together to create this magical Christmas story. There was the typical romance element, but I also liked the ‘villains’ of the peace to keep you on your toes! 

Lastly the settings. They were lovely. I have wanted to read about a bookshop at Christmas for a long time and now here it is! I thought that Edinburgh was an excellent setting and made the bookshop seem even more magical. The fact that the bookshop had hidden rooms made it all the more exciting. 

The one criticism that I do have about this book is that I feel that the ending didn’t have enough closure. There were a lot of things that were touched upon throughout the book that I felt weren’t tied up. I was left wanting more answers than I received! 

Overall a great Christmas read and one that I highly recommend.

⭐Rated 5/5⭐

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“book”, “read”, “book blog”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “entertaining”, “christmas”, “what should I read next”

15 thoughts on “Book Review – The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

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