In May 2019, Katherine Reay’s novel The Printed Letter Bookshop was published. The new book, Of Literature and Lattes can be read on its own but will be enjoyed most by those who have read The Printed Letter. The setting in Of Literature and Latte is the same town as in the prior book and readers catch up with the lives of some of the characters from that book as well. However, the novel also has its own plot and some new characters.
In this book Alyssa has left a job with a company that seems to be based on Theranos and that similarly explodes for Alyssa. With nowhere to go and under investigation, she returns to the town where her parents (characters in The Printed Letter) live. Alyssa has to figure out what to do with her life and with her unhappiness.
Jeremy has come to Winsome to run the kind of coffee shop that many of us dream of, one that values community and great beans that make great drinks. However, the shop is struggling as is Jeremy. One ray of brightness is his daughter but his daughter’s mother is threatening to leave town.
Janet, from the prior novel. is trying to have a life in which she has stronger relationships with Alyssa and Seth, the man she first married, and is again seeing. It is complicated.
The stories of these characters come to life and I think that readers will care about them. I did not find Of Literature and Latte to be as strong a novel as The Printed Letter but I am pretty confident that this author’s many fans will be eager to engage with this title.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this read in exchange for an honest review. By the way, I love the cover.
Below is my review of The Printed Letter
I have read several books by Katherine Reay and will rank this one among my favorites. It is the story of three women who run a bookshop following the death of one of the protagonist’s relatives. The main characters are Madeline, who inherits the shop; Clare who feels unseen by her family and struggles with her teenage daughter; and Janet who made one mistake that led to the end of her marriage and another that led to a major crisis for the store. The stories of these characters overlap and form the basis for the novel.
The novel takes place in a small town outside of Chicago. The location feels idyllic as does the bookshop.
If you have ever had a dream about owning a bookstore that enhances a community, you will enjoy this novel. There are definitely struggles for the store but the author makes owning a bookshop feel so worthwhile.
I enjoyed this novel very much. There are friendship, romance and books, books, books within these pages. An added bonus was the number of books that are named in the novel and the complete list of those titles at the end. This list is a great resource for future reads.
So…if you like a light story with a great setting, think about this one. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book about books.