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The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  768 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Tom Hope doesn’t think he’s much of a farmer, but he’s doing his best. He can’t have been much of a husband to Trudy, either, judging by her sudden departure. It’s only when she returns, pregnant to someone else, that he discovers his surprising talent as a father. So when Trudy finds Jesus and takes little Peter away with her to join the holy rollers, Tom’s heart breaks a ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 2nd 2018 by Text Publishing
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  • The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman
    The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
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    Release date: Apr 09, 2019
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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    3.95  · 
    Rating details
     ·  768 ratings  ·  237 reviews


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    Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    4 Broken Hearted Stars

    The setting takes place in Australia and the year is 1968, twenty four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. The book also goes to the past about the horror of what happened to her and her little boy in the concentration camps.

    Tom Hope is a farmer. His wife Trudy leaves him and he is so broken hearted. He really loved her. She then comes back to him after she is pregnant by another man. Then she decides to leave him again to go to the Jesus camp.
    ...more
    Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
    I am a sucker for any books that take place in, around or about a bookshop. I also seem to be on an “Australian roll” having recently read Jane Harper’s “The Lost Man”. In the end, however, this book wasn’t anything that I had envisioned.

    There are definitely broken hearts in the story but not that much about the bookshop. Tom Hope is an Australian farmer and has had some terrible times mainly because of his choice in partners. He is a pretty quiet guy and when he meets Trudy who is young, vivaci
    ...more
    *TUDOR^QUEEN*
    Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

    The success of this story hinges upon the appealing character of Tom Hope. The story takes place in a farming community in Australia called Hometown. Tom lives and works on the farm left to him by his Uncle Frank. Tom's good at a lot of things, but most of all, he's a good man. He can cook a wonderful breakfast and dinner, but can also build bookshelves, raise bountiful crops, tend to the "woolies" (sheep) a
    ...more
    Fran
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Tom Hope awakens at 4 AM daily to milk the cows and then check on the woolies. The Australian farm he owns in the small town of Hometown, Victoria was an inheritance. Tom is quiet and soft spoken, awkward with people. His steady companion is his dog, an old heeler named Beau. Tom has discovered "...what a hit-or-miss business it was being married." His second wife Trudy, a city girl unhappy with farm life, abandoned him. One year later, Trudy resurfaced, pregnant by another man. Tom took her bac ...more
    marilyn
    Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This story starts in 1968 Australia, with Tom Hope grieving his wife Trudy, who left him. Later Trudy comes back, pregnant by another man and Tom takes her back. Trudy has no love for her son Peter but Tom loves the boy as if he were his own, raising him for three years, while Trudy is still with him, and then for two more years, after Trudy leaves him again, alone to raise Peter. For Peter, Tom is his father and he loves Tom with all his heart. Then Trudy takes the boy and Tom's heart is broken ...more
    Lisa Wolf
    Rounding up from 3.5 stars.

    First of all, let's be clear, while the title refers to a bookshop, this novel isn't particularly about the bookshop. There's a whole subgenre of bookstore fiction, sure to warm the hearts of booklovers everywhere. This isn't one of those books.

    Set in Australia, The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted tells the story of Tom, a lonely man who's been unlucky in love. Tom is a sheep farmer who lives a contented, quiet life, until his wife Trudy deserts him and takes away Peter
    ...more
    Marianne
    Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    “Do you see how things can turn out? Do you see that that the world is big enough to make certain things possible? That thirty-six years ago the German Student Union could hold a rally in Opernplatz, Berlin, and burn twenty-five thousand books, many written by Jews, the students rejoicing in their festival of loathing, and now this, in Hometown. Hannah’s bookshop of the broken hearted, a thing of beauty.”

    The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a novel by award-winning Australian author, Robert Hil
    ...more
    Donna Davis
    This quixotic little book had me at hello. Set in Australia in the 1960s, it tells a story of love, loss, and redemption in a way that I’ve never seen anywhere from anybody. I’ve finished reading other books since I finished this one, and yet I am still thinking about Tom Hope.

    Huge thanks go to Net Galley and Putnam Penguin for the review copy. It will be available to the public April 9, 2019.

    At the outset, Tom’s last name seems cruelly ironic, because the guy can’t seem to catch a break. Trud
    ...more
    Pauline
    Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    Tom is a farmer and lives outside a small town in Australia, he has been unlucky in love and his wife has left him. When his wife returns he finds out that she is pregnant with another mans child. Tom brings this child up as his own and loves the boy dearly.
    After his wife goes away for a second time Tom meets Hannah a survivor of Auschwitz and the new owner of the towns bookshop he finds love again.
    I really like the character Tom and his son Peter and very much enjoyed this book.
    I would like to
    ...more
    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it


    Tom was shy, Trudy wasn't happy.

    Trudy left Tom, came back pregnant, left again without her son, Peter, then came back again to take Peter away. Taking Peter away devastated Tom because he grew to love Peter and was the main caregiver even though he wasn't Peter's father.

    Tom decided he had to move on with his life since he was only thirty three, and he found Hannah to help with that. Hannah moved a bit too fast for Tom, but it all worked out.

    Tom was shy, Hannah was bolder. Tom had tragedy in his
    ...more
    John Purcell
    May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted will move you in the first few pages. If that isn’t enough, the writing alone is definitely worth the price of admission. And then there is the richness of the storytelling and the depth of emotion thrown in, too. Robert Hillman seems to get more across with fewer words than I would have thought possible. This is wonderful stuff.
    ♥ Sandi ❣
    2.75 stars Thank you to Penguin's First to Read and G.P. Putnam's Sons for a chance to read and review this ARC. Published on April 9, 2019.

    My expectation was way off for this book. I was expecting a light romance kindled in a bookstore. So far from the actuality of this novel.

    I felt that the book started out well, I really liked the main character Tom and also liked Peter, the son of Tom's wife. I also enjoyed the farm setting. I was still okay with the story when Tom met Hannah and helped her
    ...more
    Joy D
    Historical fiction set in a small town in Australia in the 1960’s and flashing back to Europe during World War II. Three characters’ stories are told: Tom Hope, a soft-spoken sheep farmer, Hannah Babel, a Jewish woman whose son and husband died at Auschwitz, and Peter Carson, the young son of Tom’s first wife who is taken by his mother to live with a religious cult.

    I thought the author conveyed a genuine sense of place and loved the descriptions of sheep farming. I felt an emotional attachment
    ...more
    Susan Johnson
    Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: net-galley
    I don't care for books that make me feel bad about myself and that's what this book did. I felt bad because I didn't like Hannah, one of the main characters in the book. I know I was supposed to because she was a survivor of Auschwitz and unspeakable tragedies but I didn't. Does being a survivor mean that everything has to go the way you want without the consideration of other people for the rest of your life? That's what Hannah thinks.

    After her release in WWII and a brief marriage to a weird
    ...more
    Jill
    Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
    As soon as you put “bookshop” in the title of your novel, you’re going to attract readers. Add to that the other reader siren calls: a setting seen through new eyes, a young child you want to root for, a romance, an uplifting message, a romance, and even the gates of Auschwitz.

    Robert Hillman has pressed all the buttons and normally, that would make me wary. But despite myself, I fell under the spell of this book. It’s set in the late 1960s in rural Australia, where two lonely people meet. One is
    ...more
    Marjorie
    Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    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 hau ...more
    Krista
    Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019, arc, war
    Do you see how things can turn out? Do you see that the world is big enough to make certain things possible? That thirty-six years ago the German Student Union could hold a rally in Opernplatz, Berlin, and burn twenty-five thousand books, many written by Jews, the students rejoicing in their festival of loathing, and now this, in Hometown. Hannah’s bookshop of the broken hearted, a thing of beauty.

    In a letter from the author at the beginning of my ARC of The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted, Rob
    ...more
    Text Publishing
    ‘The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is a beautifully written, nuanced tale of three lost souls who find in one another the comfort and solace they each need. I loved this disarmingly affecting novel, which is full of insight into the human condition and the nature of tragedy and love and redemption. Read it and let it touch your soul as it has touched mine.’
    Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Sudden Light

    ‘I couldn't put this book down. An unforg
    ...more
    Claire
    This is a really touching story about people who are broken hearted and find through eachother a new placevand meaning in life. At the same time it is an ode about the power of culture and reading as a way to overcome unbearable things.
    I did like the book, but also had several things I thought weren’t the best.
    Some parts are unevenly long or short. There seems to be a lack of coherence. Too many people leave and come in a very abrupt way and it is not always psychologically credible. These and o
    ...more
    Mandy Radley
    Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Isn't it great when you're on a roll of good books. The Book Shop Of the Broken Hearted is beautiful. Set in Australia in the 1960s Tom has inherited his uncles farm, not that he's much of a farmer but he just gets on with it. Trudy his wife is having a hard time with the isolation and one morning Tom gets up to find Trudy leaving. A year later she returns and pregnant. Tom takes to fatherhood even though Peter isn't his own, and a couple of years later Trudy leaves again but without Peter. Time ...more
    Kasa Cotugno
    Despite some lovely elements, this novel as a whole did not hold tight for me. The beginning, strong and involving, almost a Kramer vs. Kramer situation set in 1960's Australia. Tom, a sweet farmer, accepts his flibbertigibbet wife's son as his own, falling in love with him only to lose him when she decides, after leaving for a second time and "shacking up with Jesus," that she wants her boy back. Destitute, Tom does eventually find love with Hannah, a Holocaust survivor whose story, told interm ...more
    DeAnn
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2019
    3.5 tortured stars rounded up

    Tom Hope is one of those stand-up strong men that should have a wonderfully happy life. Unfortunately, Tom doesn't fall into that camp. He's an Australian farmer and thrilled that pretty Trudy has married him. Farming life doesn't suit Trudy, however, and she leaves him broken hearted. Years later she turns up pregnant and wants to make another go of their marriage. Of course, Tom takes her back in and finds that he loves being a father and discovers joy in raising P
    ...more
    Karen Kay
    I received this from Netgalley.com in exchange for a review.

    It is 1968: twenty-four years since Hannah and her own little boy arrived at Auschwitz. Migrating to Australia she meets solid, reliable Tom Hope and he is taking on a battle with heartbreak he can barely even begin to imagine.

    Good story, Tom and others move the story along while the past is lived again through Hannah and how she survived Auschwitz and the war.

    3.25 stars
    Paul Lockman
    Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2018-favourites
    Great read. Highly recommended. Thanks to my GR friend Marianne for putting me onto it. I was trying to come up with a reason not to give it 5 stars and I couldn’t. Beautiful story of love, sadness, and regeneration, interesting characters, perfectly paced, captured life in late 1960s Australia really well and weaved in Hannah’s life in Hungary and the horrors of Auschwitz before she came to Australia very skilfully and with just the right amount of detail in my view. Definitely my favourite rea ...more
    Sophia
    Audiobook Review

    In rural late-1960's Australia, a handyman farmer has loved and lost when his wife cheated on him and then left because he's not exciting or interesting enough, but then he is hired to update a shop in town and build bookshelves for the new somewhat eccentric and exotic Jewish bookseller. Hannah Babel sees him as someone special. Tom is captivated, but he doesn't quite understand the whole of what he is facing when he gives love another opportunity.

    Hannah Babel has survived two
    ...more
    Debi Hawkes
    Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I am so pleased to have received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley and Publisher G. P. Putnam's Sons. It had me from the get go! My first great read for 2019.

    Robert Hillman is quite the author. There's a sparsness to his writing, and yet each character is wonderfully drawn, I feel as if I know each of them intimately. I could "see" the landscape, the buildings and settings. Just really well done, kudos.
    switterbug (Betsey)
    Late 1960s, rural Australia, a place called Hometown, and Tom, a giant of a farmer with a gentle heart, has had to endure his wife leaving him—twice--and her taking back the child she has left him to raise. Tom hurts, deeply, but isn’t a complainer, and puts on a friendly face for the community. Always helpful, he is the kind person that you see on his face. He meets Hannah, and is taken in with her unusual high spirit and seemingly candid nature.

    Hannah is a Jewish, middle-aged Hungarian woman w
    ...more
    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    Tom Hope wakes up one morning to find that his wife Trudy has left him.  In the days that follow, he writes down things he would do to make Trudy happy if she were to ever return.

    Trudy does return ... pregnant by another man.  He may not be much of a farmer or a husband but Tom is a wonderful father to their son, Peter.  
    Trudy eventually takes off again, leaving Peter with Tom when she joins a holy roller community that Tom calls "Jesus Camp".
    When Trudy returns for Peter a couple years later, To
    ...more
    Cheryl
    Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Set in Australia during the 1960’s, this novel is a story about Tom, a man whose heart was broken when his wife, Trudy, abandoned him. In addition, she took away her son, Peter, whom Tom had grown to love and consider his own. Living out on a ranch in the country, he doubts that he will ever find someone who cares about him and who wouldn’t mind living a quiet life away from the city of Hometown.

    Trudy, along with Peter, begins a new life in a “religious” cult. The strict laws that they are force
    ...more
    Etienne
    Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
    3,5/5. This book is far to be in my favorite or usually genre. But if you want me to read any book, just put book, bookshop, bookcase, library or anything bookish word and I would jump into it blindly! I'm glad I did with this one. The writing is good, simple, not over written, but good and masterize writing. The story has some religion in it, some historical parts and some romance, so if that kind of read usually please you I definitely recommend you to have a look. Personally, I would have tak ...more
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    Play Book Tag: The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman - 4 stars 7 23 Dec 27, 2018 04:15AM  
    Giveaway 1 6 Apr 05, 2018 09:30PM  
    60 followers
    Robert Hillman is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction and biography. His autobiography THE BOY IN THE GREEN SUIT won the Australian National Biography Award for 2005. His critically acclaimed MY LIFE AS A TRAITOR (written with Zarha Ghahramani) was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2008 and was published widely overseas.
    After many years of teaching in high scho
    ...more
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