Release Date: 9th February
Publisher: Totally Bound
Even I, who had resisted kicking and screaming, had to admit defeat. Why would love be impressed by the protests of a simple bookseller?
Jakoba has had enough. It is 1999 and she looks back on her life that began at the start of the century. Her arrival was unexpected, but joyfully welcomed, by her middle-aged parents. In a time where a middle-class girl has one destiny, namely to become a wife and mother, Jakoba is allowed to start working at a bookshop. Books become one of the loves of her life. Later she will inherit the shop.
She values friendship, but romance has no meaning for her. She values her independence too much and knows all too well what price women pay for being married.
It is German army photographer Armin who will change the course of her life. Jakoba is forty when she meets him. Armin is almost thirty, and Germany has occupied Holland. It does not matter. For him, she’s the one, and despite her hesitation both because of the war and because she can’t understand what this handsome man sees in her—a plain woman—she has to admit her feelings for him.
Such love has consequences for both of them that will reach far beyond the war and in ways Jakoba could never have imagined.
Publisher's Note: This book has previously been published elsewhere. It has been re-edited for re-release with Totally Bound Publishing.
Lost in translation?
The Bookshop is originally a Dutch language novella taking place in Holland in the twentieth century, and during the translation into English, I started to wonder if non-Dutch readers would actually enjoy the story. Or if they would even be able to relate to the main character, Jakoba, a bookseller who has quite a unique outlook on life. She’s so quiet that you might wonder if she’s really there, but she also has a presence that can’t be denied. She’s a good little girl who still goes her own way. She’s an introvert, but with an eclectic circle of friends. She’s the resistant fighter (but don’t call her that) who accepts the love of a German propaganda photographer because she refuses to lie to herself or to him in the name of politics.
I believe that reading a story is like visiting a foreign country that can’t be travelled in any other way. You are tourist into the mind of the writer, but just as much in that of your own. A book is always the result of the both writer and reader. A writer can only try to get the message across, but it is the reader who has the power of interpretation. Both bring their own background, knowledge and personal taste to the table. And whatever the result, we writers and readers will always go back for more.
What are your thoughts?
We walked through the dunes. Thanks to the photographer’s job, we had access to an area where otherwise I would have been chased away. He courteously offered me his arm, but I refused. I shivered. “It will be winter soon.”
“Thank you for walking with me.” When the situation asked for it, we had spoken with each other during the past weeks, but a polite distance remained.
I stopped walking, my hands deep in the pockets of my coat. I wasn’t sure what to say, but thought I had to say something. Once again, I looked at his boots, uniform and cap, but avoided his gaze. I didn’t have to look him in the face to imagine his eyes. They were gentle brown eyes in a face that could be described as attractive by any standard. He had gorgeous hands, a perfect mixture of strength and elegance. I could have fallen in love with him for his hands alone. I wanted to catch him doing anything that would make him unsympathetic in my eyes, so I could tell him that any form of contact between us would be out of the question. I smiled at my own thoughts. Human, all too human.
In no particular order: woman, writer, in a relationship with my wife since 1981 (though we had to wait until 2001 until we could actually get married), mother of two grown sons, owner of cats (I can pretend, can’t I?), reader and a lot more.
I write in different genres under different names. I’m also S.Dora for my M/M erotica and Ella Laurance for my M/F erotica.
Find R.A. Here