a sparse farce to parse

William Bridge is recently out of school and a bit at odds. His job writing for the local newspaper fell apart after an ill-timed prank, so his mother suggested he help out his uncle Albert at the village shop. William agrees to consider it, and then falls in love with Sally, a teacher looking to pick up some extra spending money with a part-time job at the shop. And just like that, William is in. 

Add in some competition for Sally's attention and an eager young American woman who has taken a liking to William, a mix of alcohol and medicine for a sick cow, a robbery, an uncle on the run from the police, and financial and sexual harassment struggles at the store. And that's just the beginning of the story. 

Save Our Shop is a farce-like, quirky, whimsical book about a small shop in a small village in England. The characters are reminiscent of those found in Wodehouse, and the clever dialogue makes the story immensely readable. Author Michael N. Wilton has created a fun setting for his story and lots of warmth and charm. 

That being said, this story has some issues too. I wanted to love it, because this is exactly the type of novel that is my favorite, but the pacing is way too fast. There is problem after problem for the store and the characters, and they get fixed almost instantaneously, only to find another problem coming on its tail. There is no reprieve. There is no time to catch your breath. This story would be stronger at a slower pace, with the characters facing far fewer problems. It has potential. It's just not quite there yet. 

That being said, there are good things here too, so if this is the type of story that appeals to you, by all means, give Save Our Shop a try. But hold on. You're in for a very fast ride. 

 

Galleys for Save Our Shop were provided by BooksGoSocial through NetGalley.com, with many thanks.