Tooly Zylberberg tells a story: as a child, she was stolen from home, stashed at a den of thieves, then adopted by crooks there, who ended up raising her and even using the little girl in capers around the globe.
But Tooly understands only fragments of what happened in Thailand, Italy, New York and beyond. Then, a desperate message reaches her musty bookshop in Wales, and she is lured into a journey that will reveal the secret of her childhood.
I really enjoyed this book. I found the characters so interesting. I’ve spent days trying to decide if I actually like Tooley or if I just like the fact that she owns a book shop. In the end I decided that its a little bit of both. I love that books play a huge role in this book. As it turns out the best way to my heart is to write a book about books.
This book is really Tooley’s journey, spanning over three decades. She is trying to find out who she is and what happened to her in the past. Someone described this book as a jigsaw puzzle and it really is. The narrative moves between three decades, you go along with Tooley trying to fit all the pieces of her life into place.
This is a must read book. Its fantastic and heartbreaking and the ending is wonderfully realistic. I loved this book. Its one that will stay with you.
This has nothing to do with the review, I just wanted to mention it. There is a quote at the end of this book I wanted to talk about because it explains perfectly the reason why I prefer physical books to ebooks:
People kept their books, she thought, not because they were likely to read them again but because these objects contained the past – the texture of being oneself at a particular place, at a particular time, each volume a piece of one’s intellect, whether the work itself had been loved or despised or had included a snooze on page forty.
When we read an ebook we experience the story but that’s it. When we read a book we experience the story but the story is contained within an object. We associate memories with that object whether that be what we were doing while reading that book or other things that just happened to happen during that particular time of our life. That object – book – begins to get its own story, one that has nothing to do with the story contained within its pages. Its a story that you miss out on if you read on a little screen. Its a story that makes reading that book more enjoyable. And I like that.
*I received a copy of this book from Sceptre Books in exchange for an honest review.