Book review: The Bookseller at the End of the World

Ruth Shaw weaves together stories of the characters who visit her bookshops

Latest in Entertainment
Aa

Ruth Shaw's memoir The Bookseller at the End of the World features bittersweet stories from her full and varied life

Aa

This is one well worth curling up with on a cold day, as it will warm you.

The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw (Allen and Unwin, $32.99) is a rich, immersive, funny and heartbreaking memoir of the charming bookseller who runs two tiny bookshops in the remote village of Manapouri in Fiordland, in the deep south of New Zealand.

Shaw weaves together stories of the characters who visit her bookshops, musings about favourite books, and bittersweet stories from her full and varied life.

She's sailed through the Pacific for years, been held up by pirates, worked at Sydney's Kings Cross with drug addicts and prostitutes, campaigned on numerous environmental issues, and worked the yacht Breaksea Girl with her husband, Lance.

Underlining all her wanderings and adventures are some very deep losses and long-held pain.

Balancing that out is her beautiful love story with Lance, and her delightful sense of humour.

This will make you weep and make you laugh and make you want to read more books - and make you want to visit Ruth and her two wee bookshops.

Aa