Published: May 2020 by Lionhead Media
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Book Review
Sophia Perkins gives up her job as a teacher to realise a life-long dream of owning a second-hand bookshop. Free from the wearying monotony of marking until the early hours and swallowing the disappointment of trying to educate disinterested young minds, she embraces her new life.
This new story with a warm vintage feel brings to mind the age-old saying: Be careful what you wish for…
Mr Portobello’s Morning Paper is a lovely story. I saw it featured on Joanne’s blog and scooted off to Amazon straight away. It centres around Sophia Perkins. Still grieving the loss of her parents, as well as feeling disillusioned with trying to teach classes of seemingly indifferent children, she gives notice, leaves her job and fulfils a long held dream of owning her own second hand bookshop.
The previous tenant of the building, eccentric eighty year old Mr Portobello, takes to calling into the bookshop each morning for a chat as he walks past after collecting his morning paper, and the two build up a special friendship over several months. Then one morning Mr Portobello fails to arrive at his usual time, and for the rest of the week there’s no sign of him. Worried, Sophia decides to find his house and make sure he’s not ill. She discovers all is not as she believed.
She had seen Mr Portobello out and about — who hadn’t? He was, as the phrase went, a real character; someone who stood out, a man everyone recognised, but knew little about. He kept himself to himself, but was one of those people who was like the local war memorial, the fancy library steps or the Gothic fountain in front of St John’s, part of the fabric of the street, someone you expected to see, although usually didn’t look too closely.