This is a hate it or love it kinda novel. I didn't hate it but I wish I hadn't read it. It's the type of novel that appeals by it's incisive and cutting way of portraying life in small community where everyone knows everyone and where you are a stranger forever if you aren't born there, even if you've lived there for more than half your life. You are forever brand "the stranger", "the outsider". It's also about small town politics, done in the most despicable way. And done by a woman to another woman. The bookshop is just a prop to the author as is Nabokov's book Lolita. There is no "affaire Lolita" just one snobbish, well do to woman who wants things her way and another woman trying her best to survive but ultimately falling. It's a sad little story that left me with a sour taste in my mouth.