Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner 

In the follow-up to her hit novel The Jane Austen Society*, Natalie Jenner’s Bloomsbury Girls is a beautifully crafted novel written for bookworms. With gentle descriptions and personable characters, this story envelops you like the cozy atmosphere of a bookshop.  

Readers will love the three main characters: Evie, a young Cambridge grad on a mission to find a valuable missing book; Vivien, a determined writer consistently passed over for opportunities; and Grace, a mother simply trying to find respite in a world that seems set on confining her. All three women work at Bloomsbury Books, a London bookstore dominated by the male staff who cannot see beyond traditions and rules established long ago. If only they would listen to the three women who have ideas aplenty to share—ideas that could increase store profits and bring excitement back to the quiet bookshop.  

Set in the 1950s, Bloomsbury Girls doesn’t shy away from the wartime traumas that persisted in London society. The characters are trying to find themselves again, trying to reinvent themselves, as they learn that they must embrace the ever-changing times or risk being left behind. 

“She would not be going backwards; she would not be looking back.” 

Of course, what could be more appropriate for a novel set in a bookstore than innumerable literary references? Writers like Daphne du Maurier and Samuel Beckett make appearances, contemporary book titles and magazine names are eased into every other sentence, and there is an overall understanding of Jenner’s love of the written word. Beware: each new book title and the author mentioned will leave you with a reading list a mile long! 

Jenner also gives keen insight into the literary successes and failures of the day, especially those experienced by women writers. Women experienced “failures”—failure to write a bestseller, to get reprinted, to become a household name; that is, if they even got published—because male publishers, booksellers, and reviewers didn’t take their works seriously. Women were dismissed because of their gender, a fact acknowledged and actively fought against by our three protagonists.  

“I think I know my own intent. That is an author’s, and a woman’s, prerogative.” 

Delightful, romantic, and engaging, Bloomsbury Girls deserves a prominent place on your bookshelf. 

*You don’t have to read The Jane Austen Society first to enjoy Bloomsbury Girls! I haven’t read the first book yet—though it’s certainly on my list now—and I still found Bloomsbury Books thoroughly enjoyable. 

NATALIE JENNER is the author of the instant international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller, and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin’s Press (May 17 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250283221
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250283221

*The Miramichi Reader encourages you to shop independent! However, shopping at a bookstore is not always possible, so we are supplying an link. Please note if you choose to purchase this book (or Kindle version) through Amazon using the link below we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you cannot see the Amazon ad below (if you are using an ad blocker, for instance) here is the link: Thanks!

Claire Bennet is a writer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from Dalhousie University and is currently completing a Certificate in Publishing through Ryerson University.