Overall I found The Bookish Life of Nina Hill to be a really fun and quirky read. The author was able to convey how debilitating Nina's anxiety was on her day to day life, and social/family relationships while still maintaining the overall fun/quirky vibe to the story.
Nina is the type of character I love reading about - She's super smart and socially awkward. She loves working at the bookstore Knights, and is perfectly happy to be at home in her own company with her many books. Nina's carefully organised and structured life is thrown into chaos with the discovery of family she never knew existed. On top of that, Nina's developing interest in Tom throws a further spanner in the works, how is she going to manage all of these new people in her life? Very much a slow burn relationship which develops more throughout the second half of the story.
The extended family are a little crazy at times, but it was really sweet seeing Nina start to accept them into her life. I think her connection to her youngest sister Millie was my favourite, although Peter and Archie were next in line as favourites in the family. Tom - what a guy!! He was so patient, and I smiled big at one particular scene with him and Nina towards the end :)
There are five star books and then there are books that go so far over and above your expectation that no scale could possibly suit. There are so many things I want to say about The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, so many accolades and compliments for the author however let me start only with this; It’s my favourite book of the year, perhaps, my favourite book ever.
What is it about though? Here are several attempts to encapsulate
1. Nina is a bookworm who works in a bookstore whose entire life is enhanced by her love of books 2. Nina is a woman who suffers serious anxiety, and this is the story of how she navigates life with a debilitating mental illness 3. Nina never knew who her father was until after he died. She inherits family she never knew she had. 4. Nina, a ferocious trivia champion finds herself attracted to her archrival.
All of these things are true and yet the story is told in such a way that it’s not really about any one thing but about them all, woven into a story that is hilarious, tender, poignant and decidedly bookishly sweet. It made me laugh till I cried and then cry till I laughed. I’ve never read a book so complete, so intelligent and yet so hilarious. The relationships, the emotions, (the ending!) to me, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is the perfect bookish book and will take pride of place on my BBC.