Book Club Pick: September 2017
Title: Words in deep blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Series: Stand alone novel
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
First Published: 2016
Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries
This is a love story.
It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.
Sometimes you need the poets
Eighteen-year-old Rachel Sweetie’s brother Cal tragically drowned in the ocean ten months ago and her life has spiralled out of control. Rachel lost her way and subsequently failed her final year at school, pushed friends and her boyfriend away.
She decides to get her life back on track and returns to Melbourne, after three years to where she grew up, to live with her aunt. Rachel takes a job at her former best friend Henry Jones’ family’s second-hand book store, Howling Books. Her job is to catalogue the bookstore’s Letter Library.
The Letter Library is a collection of books that are not for sale that are kept permanently in the store. Customers can write notes in the margins, underline favourite passages, and leave letters between the pages. The Letter Library was probably my favourite part of the book – do these actually exist?
Poor Henry is having dramas of his own. His on-again-off-again girlfriend Amy has dumped him ahead of a planned round-the-world trip and his mother would like to sell the bookstore, which is his home.
To be honest I didn’t really like the character of Henry. I found him to be a bit self-centered, self-absorbed etc.
My favourite character was George, Henry’s younger sister and I was actually more interested in her budding romance than Henry or Rachel’s.
Similar to Crowley’s novel Graffiti Moon, the narrative is told in first person – alternating between Rachel and Henry. It also includes letters found in the pages of the Letter Library.
Graffiti Moon was my book club pick for January 2015. Click here to read my review.
Source: I was given a free copy of this book at YA Day, Sydney Writers Festival 2017.
P.S. You can read about my experience at YA Day, Sydney Writers Festival 2017 here.