Not every town without a bookshop necessarily wants one, as Florence soon discovers in this wise and funny gem from Penelope Fitzgerald.

In a small East Anglian coastal town, outsider Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop. Hardborough becomes a battleground, as small towns so easily do. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and - on occasion supernatural - forces.

The Booker Prize 1978
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Penelope Fitzgerald

Penelope Fitzgerald

About the Author

The novelist and biographer Penelope Fitzgerald won the Booker Prize in 1979 with Offshore before executing a poacher-turned-gamekeeper u-turn and joining the 1991 judging panel.
More about Penelope Fitzgerald

Listen to an extract from The Bookshop

Eve Karpf brings Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop to life in the audiobook.

HarperCollins Publishers · The Bookshop (Chapter 3), by Penelope Fitzgerald, Introduction by David Nicholls, Read by Eve Karpf
Cover for the audiobook of Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop on a cream background.

The Bookshop on screen

Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop was adapted into a film in 2018, starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson.

The film was written and directed by Isabel Coixet, and the Independent said it ‘may seem like an exercise in cosy heritage cinema but it has an edge’.

Other nominated books by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Gate of Angels
The Beginning of Spring
Prize winner