The Bookseller (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Logo
The Bookseller Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

Virgie's Staff Pick, July 2015:

This story takes place during the cultural landscape of the sixties. Kitty, a bookseller and bookstore owner has a rather simple, idyllic life until she begins having dreams about another life, in which she is called Katharyn.

Her dreams become more vivid, and with more frequency, until Kitty/Katharyn can no longer determine which life is real and which life is imaginary. Her night dreams blend into her daytime reality, and she feels as if she is dreaming madness.

But which life is the dream?

As a reader, I was perplexed! Until the end I kept changing my prediction of which life was reality.

I just had to know how this story would end!

Author Cynthia Swanson finds her home in Colorado, and even gives a mention of Steamboat Springs in her novel! We so enjoyed her visit to the store at the beginning of this month!

— From July 2015 Staff Picks

March '15 Indie Next List

“In 1962, 38-year-old Kitty Miller lives unconventionally. She's an unmarried working woman who is running a bookstore with her best friend. But at night, in her dreams, it's a different story. There, Kitty (now Kathryn) explores the path not taken. She's the married mother of three. It's the life that might have been, and the novel explores both Kitty's waking and dream lives in alternating chapters. Swanson's enjoyable debut really gets interesting when the lines between waking and dreaming, fantasy and reality, begin to blur.”
— Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA


A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn't quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It's everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted--but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn's life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062333001
ISBN-10: 0062333003
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 352
Language: English