A woman inherits her late uncle’s struggling bookstore in Meyerson’s debut novel.
Miranda once idolized her uncle Billy—he was charming, adventurous, and always let her pick out any book she wanted from his store, Prospero Books. He planned elaborate scavenger hunts and was full of surprises. But on the night of her 12th birthday, Billy and her mother have an explosive fight. Miranda doesn’t know what happened between them, but she loses touch with Billy—until years later, when she’s a teacher in Philadelphia. Billy is dead, but he left her his bookstore—and a mysterious book and letter. Determined to figure out what’s going on, Miranda returns to Los Angeles and embarks on her final scavenger hunt, following clues that introduce her to books and people from Billy’s past. No one will tell her why Billy disappeared from her life—not her mother, her father, or the employees at Prospero Books—so the scavenger hunt is her only hope to figure out what happened. Miranda quickly finds out that Billy wasn’t just the fun-loving uncle she remembers—his life was also full of tragedy. As Miranda learns about his history, she must also juggle trying to save Prospero Books and deciding what she wants out of her life. Should she return to teaching and her boyfriend in Philadelphia, or would she rather stay with her family and her bookstore in LA? Miranda’s quest to learn more about her uncle leads to some surprises and plenty of references to literature, with clues hidden in classics like Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and Bridge to Terabithia. Meyerson writes beautifully, with lush descriptions of LA and believable interactions between characters. Prospero Books is warm, inviting, and populated with lovably quirky employees readers will want to get to know.
A lovely look at loss, family, and the comfort found in a good bookstore.