Bookshop of Yesterdays (Meyerson)

The Bookshop of Yesterdays 
Amy Meyerson, 2018
Park Row Publishers
368 pp.

 A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy’s bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her.

But on Miranda’s twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda’s life. She doesn’t hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy—and one final scavenger hunt.

When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books—now as its owner—she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store’s shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself.

Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy’s last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy’s past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda’s mother has kept hidden—and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.

Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to the healing power of community and how our histories shape who we become. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Raised—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Education—B.A., Wesleyan University; M.F.A., University of Southern California
Currently—lives in Los Angeles, California

Amy Meyerson teaches in the writing department at the University of Southern California, where she completed her graduate work in creative writing.

She has been published in Reed Magazine, The Manhattanville Review, The Bloomsbury Review, The Fanzine and Obit Magazine, and was a finalist in Open City's RRofihe Trophy Short Story Contest and in Summer Literary Seminars's Unified Literary Contest.

She currently lives in Los Angeles. The Bookshop of Yesterdays is her first novel. (From .)

Book Reviews
In her heartfelt debut, Meyerson brings readers on a scavenger hunt full of literary clues and family secrets…. Filled with quotes from and allusions to The Tempest, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Jane Eyre, Meyerson’s evocative novel is a fun homage to book lovers and the eclectic spirit of L.A.
Publishers Weekly

Meyerson's debut is a sweet read filled with family, love, and healing. Readers who enjoy Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber will be charmed by this tale of self-discovery and new beginnings.
Library Journal

Meyerson writes beautifully, with lush descriptions of LA and believable interactions between characters. Prospero Books is warm, inviting, and populated with lovably quirky employees readers will want to get to know. A lovely look at loss, family, and the comfort found in a good bookstore.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
1. Miranda is forced to face some pretty shocking truths about her family. Were you surprised? What did you think Billy and Susan’s secret was? When did you discover the truth? When do you think Miranda realized the truth?
2. Miranda’s curiosity is piqued when she discovers that Evelyn died of a massive seizure. Did this strike you as suspicious? Does your family have any stories that you’ve always found suspicious?
3. Before Susan tells Miranda the truth of her past, Miranda realizes that no one else from Billy’s journey knows why Billy and Susan fought. Why does Billy let Susan’s version of their estrangement be the only version Miranda and the reader learn? How does Susan allow us to see the fight from both of their perspectives? Who do you sympathize with? Do you have any estrangements in your family?
4. Throughout the novel, Miranda meets several individuals from Billy’s past. Who is your favorite? Why?
5. We get different perspectives on Billy through the people Miranda meets. What do these versions of Billy have in common? How do they differ? How do they change Miranda’s memory of Billy? What do you think of Billy in response?
6. What impression do you have of Evelyn? How does her untimely death affect the way people remember her?
7. In the novel, Miranda has two love interests, Jay and Malcolm. How are they different? Who do you think is a better fit for her? Do you think she made the right decision?
8. What do you think the fate of Prospero Books is at the end of the novel? What statement does the novel make about independent bookstores? Is there a bookstore that you love?
9. The novel is full of literary references. Which clues are your favorites? Are there any books that you plan to read after reading this novel?
10. In Billy’s last clue from The Tempest, he highlights: The Rarer action is/In virtue than in vengeance. Miranda also tells her mother that The Tempest is ultimately a play about forgiveness. How is this a novel about forgiveness?

(Questions found on author's website.)

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