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The Book Lover

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Ruth Hardaway has had one passion all her life: books. For thirty years she's devoted her life to her book store, trying to bury her painful past. But now the store is in jeopardy, and the past is catching up with her. Lucinda Barrett lost everything in a life-shattering betrayal. Desperate, she goes after one last dream—to be an author. Alone and broke, she embarks on a j ...more
Paperback, 329 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Three Women Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  503 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Well it says "Do not judge a book by its cover", but here I'm, I simply picked up "The Book Lover" by judging by its title. Without even giving a look at the synopsis at the back of the book, I absent-mindly bought this book. Actually this book is a tribute to all the wanna-be authors and to all the self-published authors. How hard it is to get your book published, this book will give you an insight in the world of first-time authors, publishing houses and the agents.

This is about Ruth, who owns
Kat Warren
Apr 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
I had determined to go easy on this book because it's clear the writer was scribing from the heart. Then I read the reviews here and began to think I had some misplaced genetic material and, really, I'm from Mars. Nevertheless, I'd like to counter the impression of those other positive reviews in an effort to speak truth to my readerly cohorts.

It's not enough to write with heart. One also must write a good book.

The author apparently self published a tome or two one of which was picked up a "tra
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction
3.5. "The Book Lover" is a book for lovers of books. Seriously! There are really two main characters in the book. Lucy is a self-published writer who is struggling to make the next big leap in the world of publishing. Ruth is the owner of an independent book store who is wondering if she's been at the business for too long. With two bookish characters making up the main story line, I already knew that I was in for a treat!

This book does delve in to the in's and out's of the publishing world, som
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read so many book that rarely do I write a review. However this book touched me in so many ways. maybe because i have always wanted to both write a book and open a book store. I could identify with the two main characters in such a way that I wanted to get in my car and drive to the book store to meet them. Anyone who loves to read or has ever dreamed of writing a book will absolutely fall in love with this story. Enjoy!!
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ms. McFadden's book is prime example of why I LOVE INDIE AUTHORS! This book was engrossing and I fell in love with the characters immediately! It was so well written that this is an author who can easily get off the porch and play with the big house publishing dogs(authors) and even outrun a chunk of them. One of the stories greatest lines focuses on Lucy's book being turned down by a big house publisher with a note stating that a book needs to capture the reader from page one. Well, Ms. McFadde ...more
Mary Chrapliwy
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books
I finished this book with a tissue in hand an a tear in my eye. What a fabulous book. The Book Lover is actually the name of a book store in this story, but it holds even more meaning for the characters in this story.

The central characters of the story are Ruth, the owner of The Book Lover, and Lucy, an author who opens the story. The story is told in third person, but stays strictly with Ruth and Lucy's points of view from chapter to chapter.

These characters are so well drawn that they feel l
Maudeen Wachsmith
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What was there NOT to like about this book? The story of an aspiring writer and a long-time bookstore owner whose lives cross in a wonderful way, resonated with me in oh so many ways. There's a lot to like here including a couple of romances between two unlikely couples, insights into the publishing industry and the woes of owning a struggling independent bookstore, as well as detailed accounts of rehabilitation of injured birds --- eagles in particular. Although the portion of the book regardin ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
There isn't a really good reason why I didn't enjoy this book. The cover made it seem like it was a book for book lovers but it wasn't really about books. It was more like a book for aspiring writers. Also, I found the story line just couldn't hold my interest. I really had to force myself to finish this one, something I really dislike. Reading is supposed to be fun, not a chore.
One of the reasons I enjoy Goodreads so much is that I often find fine books while browsing it, books I wouldn't have heard of otherwise. It was pure chance that I came across The Book Lover, but the synopsis sounded so intriguing that I decided to give it a try. It's actually a pretty nice book that I would have otherwise missed out on, very atmospheric and at times even poetic--just a bit too overburdened with unnecessary drama for my taste (I don't generally read chick lit, but I can apprecia ...more
Judy D Collins
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I had previous read Mary Ann McFadden's prior two books over the past years "Richest Season" and "So Happy Together" , which I thoroughly enjoyed.

"The Book Lover" was brilliant and belongs on the best seller list! Being an avid reader, I could not put this book down! Her honesty and challenges of being a writer and becoming published was portrayed wonderfully (hats off to MaryAnn), and as a bonus the other correlations and poignant stories between the characters so
Park Road Books
Maryann McFadden, author of The Richest Season, is back with her third novel about self publishing and book selling with all the twists of marriage, divorce and forbidden love. When Lucinda Barrett’s husband destroys their marriage in a shocking betrayal, she’s left with nothing but the shattered remnants of her life– and her novel. Desperate to keep one last dream alive, she sets out on a 1,000 mile journey to get it into the hands of readers– one bookstore at a time. Ruth Hardaway knows all ab ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I think my fantasy occupation would be as a bookstore owner, and I am worried about the fate of bookstores in general, and particularly small independent ones. That initially attracted me to this book, but as I read it I was very impressed with the way the story developed. By alternating the two main characters stories, it kept me engaged with them both, and I couldn't put it down. Unlike many books, I couldn't predict how things were going to turn out, and I couldn't ...more
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The title attracted me to this book,and that is about the only thing I liked about this book. Why give it 2 stars instead of 1 you may ask? Well, the story is a little weak and the secrets the 2 women keep from each other are not that horrible or life altering. As for the one daughter, she so fucking needs a tranquilizer,it's not funny. Yet,the true look into the publishing world is what keeps me from writing this whole book off. If you leave the story behind and look at what the author has to s ...more
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This lovely book is about finding your true self. Set in Warwick, NY and parts of Sussex County NJ, I thoroughly enjoyed it since this is where I live. Our community is having the same problems with downtown. We once had a thriving bookstore--no it's a vacant building. The characters are the same. They see that something has to change in their lives. What they have isn't working. If only we could figure out how to revitalize our downtown.
May 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is a "beach read" book. Interesting to read about how the main character self-published and marketed her first novel..with the help of the owner of an independent bookstore. The rest of the storyline was pretty predictable and unrealistic.
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!! So real and heartfelt. Maryann McFadden is one of my favorite authors. I love all of her books!!!
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Although the characters are engaging, and there's a lot of interesting plot points, I didn't love this book. I think it wasn't hard-edged enough for me. Just not my thing.
Jane Snyder
Oct 13, 2014 rated it did not like it

A waste of my time.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Two-haiku review:

Tale of two women
Writer who can't get published
Aging bookseller

Really well written
Quiet, with much foreboding
End saved it for me
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was another great read for me, it starts with loss and grief and then anger and life changes that bring closure, but also love. Its a story of several people, each with a need to face their pasts and make decisions that they didn't think they could. Two women, Ruth (a bookstore owner) and Lucy a writer, try to do this, with complications and a little white lie. I really like this author, her writing is wonderful.

From Amazon:
Ruth Hardaway has had one passion all her life: books. For the la
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This is not the first book I’ve read about a small, struggling independent book store (and the irony of the fact that I read it on my Kindle was not lost on me! I just don’t have room to store books in my house – or my van when I travel.) This book was ok, didn’t wow me; it sometimes had a bit too much drama and I didn’t always like the characters (Ruth, at almost 65, acted more like she was 75 or 80). It had the usual and not unexpected love/romance struggles, with a few twists before all ends ...more
Emily Kidd
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela Sanford
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story about living through betrayal and dealing with a painful past. A great set of characters that has to deal with real life issues, and the struggles they endure to reach a point in their lives that they have only dreamed of. You will not be disappointed with this awesome page turner.
Gareth Frank
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Book Lover is now my second favorite McFadden novel (I just finished her new book, The Cemetery Keeper’s Wife). Read them both.

As a writer myself, I appreciate McFadden’s effortless craft in The Book Lover, as well as her portrayal of the secrets of the publishing industry. Plus, her ability to capture the human heart and the traps of deception is perfect.
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
I generally love books about books and books about people who love books, but this one falls a bit short for me. It is a pleasant enough read, but doesn't give the depth of emotion that I have come to expect from my reading lately. Sweet, but nothing earth shattering.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
The Book was well written and interesting. It lost stars for me because I felt the ending was too contrived. She forced all her major characters to have a happy ending. Real life wouldn't have worked out that way. Also Lucy overstepped her bounds often with many people. Not realistic.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
seemed familiar...boring for me until the end...I liked the end
had some divorce tie-ins which I don't agree with
Kate Brandes
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a reader and a writer, this novel held definite appeal and did not disappoint. It’s heartfelt story of two women trying to find their way. I look forward to more from Maryann McFadden!

Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
a wonderful read. I've had this book for years and finally got to it!
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another page Turner by Maryann McFadden

I chose this book after reading The Cemetery Keepers wife. It did not disappoint. I rooted for Lucy and Colin through the whole book.
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Maryann McFadden is the author of THE CEMETERY KEEPER'S WIFE, which debuts May 2018. Her previous 3 novels, THE RICHEST SEASON, SO HAPPY TOGETHER, and THE BOOK LOVER, are all American Bookseller Association Indie Next Picks. and have been translated into multiple languages.

In 2007 Maryann "won the literary lottery" when her originally self-published novel, THE RICHEST SEASON, sold at auction and w

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