The London Bookshop Affair: A Novel of the Cold War (Hardcover)

The London Bookshop Affair: A Novel of the Cold War By Louise Fein Cover Image

The London Bookshop Affair: A Novel of the Cold War (Hardcover)


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From the bestselling author of Daughter of the Reich, an historical drama set in London about a bookshop involved in an espionage network.

"An utterly atmospheric and completely compelling read!” —Julia Kelly, international bestselling author of The Lost English Girl

Two courageous women. One astonishing secret. A world on the brink of war.

London, 1962: The world is teetering on the brink of nuclear war but life must go on. Celia Duchesne longs for a career, but with no means or qualifications, passes her time working at a dusty bookshop. The day a handsome American enters the shop, she thinks she might have found her way out of the monotony. Just as the excitement of a budding relationship engulfs her, a devastating secret draws her into the murky world of espionage.

France, 1942: Nineteen-year-old Anya Moreau was dropped behind enemy lines to aid the resistance, sending messages back home to London via wireless transmitter. When she was cruelly betrayed, evidence of her legacy and the truth of her actions were buried by wartime injustices.

As Celia learns more about Anya—and her unexpected connection to the undercover agent—she becomes increasingly aware of furious efforts, both past and present, to protect state secrets. With her newly formed romance taking a surprising turn and the world on the verge of nuclear annihilation, Celia must risk everything she holds dear, in the name of justice.

Propulsive and illuminating, The London Bookshop Affair is a gripping story of secrets and love, inspired by true events and figures of the Cold War.

Louise Fein is the author of Daughter of the Reich, which has been published in thirteen territories, and the international bestseller The Hidden Child. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University. She lives in Surrey, UK, with her family.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063359710
ISBN-10: 0063359715
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: January 16th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English

The London Bookshop Affair is several books at once: a family chronicle, a coming-of-age tale, a love story and (in roundabout but effective fashion) an espionage thriller. Ms. Fein does an admirable job of attending to each of these aspects, while timing revelations in ways that heighten suspense and afford every character his or her due.” — Wall Street Journal

“This dual-timeline story, which bounces readers between Nazi-occupied France and a London in the shadow of the Cuban Missile Crisis, will keep readers on the edge of their seats with its many twists and turns. In this gripping story of love and betrayal, loosely based on real-life figures and events, even the author’s note at the end is a riveting must-read.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“[K]ept me enthralled from the start…This was such an engrossing story filled with secrets, love and rich, illuminating history.” — First for Women

“In this captivating page-turner, Louise Fein deftly layers fascinating historical details, impossibly high stakes and a nuanced portrait of familial love that all together create a gripping, unforgettable story. The moral complexity of the novel is matched beautifully by its vivid prose and three-dimensional characters. Voracious historical fiction readers, especially, will delight in this setting, which offers a fresh lens through which to view the Cuban Missile Crisis. A gem of a book that should be on everyone’s must-read list!”    — Brianna Labuskes, bestselling author of The Librarian of Burned Books

"Louise Fein brilliantly conjures up the atmosphere of London in the early Sixties: the greasy food, smoky pubs, grim housing, and the limited work and home lives many led. Rumbling in the background is the mounting alarm about nuclear weapons, and the growth of activist movements campaigning against them. Celia Duchesne is a smart, ambitious and gutsy heroine, who follows her moral conscience while unravelling a devastating family secret. I was hooked from first to last page.” — Gill Paul, bestselling author of A Beautiful Rival

“Based on actual events that occurred during the global missile crisis of October 1962, Fein’s historical novel examines this pivotal era through an intensely personal lens.” — Booklist

“This is historical fiction at its very best. I was utterly immersed in this book from the very first page. It immediately evokes the atmosphere of the era whilst, at the same time, the elegant writing builds a multi-layered story that is breath taking in its detail. Utterly fabulous!” — Victoria Dowd, author of The Smart Women series

“A deeply moving, emotional story about mothers and daughters, betrayal and redemption, and the courage to stand up for what you love. Post-war London is beautifully rendered and impeccably researched, layering conflict and secrets around Celia’s search for who she really is. The kind of book that keeps you feverishly turning the pages to find out what next: I absolutely loved it.” — Nikola Scott, International bestselling author of The Summer of Secrets and The Orchard Girls

“A fascinating story of one young woman's search for the truth about her family, set against the backdrop of 1960s London in the lead up to the Cuban missile crisis. Fein interweaves the global and the personal to create at once a compelling evocation of a world on the brink, and a moving depiction of the difference individuals can make to global events.” — Caroline Bishop, author of The Lost Chapter

The London Bookshop Affair is full of tension and intrigue, exploring two of the most critical periods of recent history through interweaving storylines that are compelling, moving, and utterly immersive. Brilliant, character-driven historical fiction.” — Phillipa East, author of I’ll Never Tell

“Historical fiction at its very best—beautifully written and superbly atmospheric, with true-to-life characters and a fascinating story that echoes down the years to today's world.” — Frances Quinn, author of That Bonesetter Woman

“Superb: an intriguing story about love, loss, and subterfuge and how, with courage, ordinary people are capable extraordinary things. Gripping: an engaging and well-researched story that was both moving and compelling in one.” — Gillian Harvey, bestselling author of A Year at the French Farmhouse

“A story of love and betrayal set against the backdrop of the Cold War. As educational and intelligent as it is a gripping page-turner. I loved every minute. Brilliant!” — Charlotte Levin, bestselling author of If I Can’t Have You

“I devoured this wonderful book about women's bravery in times of crisis. Fascinating, gripping and moving.” — Susan Allott, author of The Silence

“Revelatory and harrowing with touches of gracethe characterizations are well done, with the lovers and Hetty’s relationship with her beloved brother particularly well rendered. An extraordinary debut novel. Bravo!” — Historical Novel Society on Daughter of the Reich

“Louise Fein’s Daughter of the Reich is so real—a beautifully written and emotional wrenching journey into World War II tumult and tragedy. Amazingly, this novel is both sweeping and intimate. Although the book brings history to life, its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate.”  — Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen’s Secret

“I adored this book because not only is it beautifully written, it also tells a familiar story from a very unfamiliar perspective: that of a naïve German teenager caught up in the rise of Nazism ,and her gradual realization of the inhumanity driven by Aryan fanaticism. Louise Fein’s characters help us understand how so many people were taken in by Nazi propaganda, and the terrible, heartbreaking dilemmas they faced trying to protect the people they loved. This is historical fiction at its absolute best.”  — Liz Trenow, New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Seamstress, on Daughter of the Reich

“Fein fashions an affecting historical novel by weaving together themes of eugenics, epilepsy, PTSD, and the crash of 1929…. A good choice for readers who enjoy 20th-century historical fiction, Fein’s novel is well researched…. The classism and racism fundamental to eugenics come through clearly, as do the heartbreaking consequences of a child’s serious illness.”  — Library Journal on The Hidden Child 

The Hidden Child is a heart-wrenching depiction of a golden couple in the 1920s when their perfect life is turned on its axis and shows the lengths a mother will go to when forced to protect her daughter from her ambitious husband and his twisted beliefs at a time when women’s voices were not heard. Shocking, emotive, and compelling, but ultimately a story of hope. I loved it.”  — Deborah Carr, USA Today bestselling author of The Poppy Field, on The Hidden Child

“An addictive, heart-filled, crucial read for our times—reminding us why it’s so imperative never to forget history and providing a cautionary tale about what will happen if we do.” — Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us, on Daughter of the Reich

“Louise Fein’s Daughter of the Reich spins childhood innocence shattered, the tendency for society to carry us along in wrong directions, and the importance of standing up against tyranny in ways small and large into an absorbing, heart-wrenching story of love and letting go—and a lesson for us all.” — Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to London

“From the first pages of Louise Fein’s The Hidden Child, cracks appear in the picture-perfect veneer of the Hamilton family. I found myself tangled in the complicated web of Eleanor and Edward's marriage, and filled with both dread and hope for their daughter Mabel. Full of surprises, The Hidden Child takes us into the heart of a 1930s marriage as Eleanor and Edward navigate the boundaries of class, family ties, and the overwhelming fear of bringing moral shame into the light. A bittersweet tale that will keep you turning the pages until the wee hours to see what happens next.” — Laura Morelli, USA Today bestselling author of The Stolen Lady

"A family torn apart by misconceptions and forced to face their biggest fears, The Hidden Child is a meticulously researched, brave, and timely look into the deep-seated prejudices that drove entire nations."   — Serena Burdick, bestselling author of The Girls with No Names