The Secrets of Paper and Ink {A Book Review}

**Book received for consideration. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.
From the time I was a little girl, I loved to write stories. Sure, I may not have been able to put them to paper yet, but I would create these stories in my head nonetheless. As I got older, it truly became a passion of mine- I was always writing. If I wasn't, I was reading. I loved not only creating these new worlds all my own, but reading those stories created by others too. As an adult, this is a passion that I have carried with me...and when I find a story that celebrates that love of writing and stories, I cannot help but fall in love.

This is just what I experienced with the new novel by Lindsay Harrel, 'The Secrets of Paper and Ink':

Brought together by a charming bookstore in England, three women fight to defy expectations, dream new dreams, and welcome love into their lives.
As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature.
Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance.
Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch.
Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.

I have read many great books so far this year, but I have to say that this is certainly the best I have read so far. A bold statement to be sure, but I truly could not get enough. This novel spoke to me on so many levels. I was drawn to the story first and foremost because of my love of books---a book focused around a bookstore? Well, that just sounded right up my alley. And it truly was!

I love a good mystery. I love a good romance. I love a book that is going to transport me somewhere I've never been before. 'The Secrets of Paper & Ink' had all of these. With each turn of the page, I found myself wanting to know 'who is Emily Fairfax? what happened all those years ago? how does her story end?'. While I had my suspicions early on (which turned out to be correct), I enjoyed seeing it unfold through the pages. Along with it, I enjoyed seeing the healing hearts and the budding relationships to come out of this adventure. It's amazing to think the lives that we lead now, the stories we are creating might impact someone 150 years in the future, but this book beautifully reminds us of how we each have our own stories- our struggles, our triumphs, our regrets, our passions- and how those stories weave together into the lives of those around us and those to come. Ultimately, it was a tale that reminds us that our stories- as mundane as we might sometimes feel they are- matter. And it was a story of overcoming, and finding out the writer of that story in God. It was such a beautiful story that I didn't want it to end.

If you're on the search for your next great read, this one is a MUST! I loved it, and look forward to reading more from this author. It releases on February 26th, and is available for preorder now.

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