Wednesday, March 06, 2024

The Dubrovnik Book Club by Eva Glyn

First Lines: Prologue. October 2021. He raises his head from the sink and looks in the mirror.
Long Covid took fifteen months of Claire Thomson's life. Fifteen months that she'll never get back. Staying with her grandmother in Dubrovnik, Croatia should give her a fresh start-- even though she's still very nervous about being around other people and the chance that she'll contract Covid again.
Becoming the manager of The Welcoming Bookshop brings Claire back to the work she loves, and it also brings her new friends. There's bookshop employee, Luna, a young lesbian who wants to become part of the gay community but isn't quite sure how to go about it. There's Claire's cousin, Vedran, branded by social media as the killer of his missing girlfriend, and there's Karmela, a history professor haunted by her family's escape from wartorn Sarajevo when she was a child. These four along with several university students form a book club that will eventually change their lives.
The Dubrovnik Book Club is a Harlequin romance-type book that's still an enjoyable read (even more so if you like romance novels). The old buildings and history of Dubrovnik come to vivid life, and I almost felt as though I were walking its streets along with the characters.
The Welcoming Bookshop lives up to its name, truly welcoming all to its door. The books the club members choose to read highlight inclusiveness and show how each of the characters grows. 
I found all four main characters interesting. Each one of them feels that they have good reasons to hide away from others. Luna, a young, bubbly lesbian, is nervous about coming out because she's from a very restrictive and traditional family. Claire, an Englishwoman who used to work in London's Foyles Bookshop, has to overcome her fear of a recurrence of Covid. Claire's cousin, Vedran, has been pilloried by social media after his girlfriend disappeared, and it's this disappearance that fuels the mystery that the book club members work to solve. Karmela has felt like an outsider ever since her parents took her out of Sarajevo before the city was torn apart by war. She feels that there is some sort of shame in her escape, especially since it took her away from her dearest friends. Each one of these characters fights his or her demons with the help of the other book club members. 

Each character's story is interesting, and I liked the solution to the mystery of the woman's disappearance. But, most of all, I enjoyed spending time in Dubrovnik, and I appreciated the Croatian glossary at the back of the book. If you're in the mood for a light, pleasant read in an exotic location, The Dubrovnik Book Club would be a good choice.

The Dubrovnik Book Club by Eva Glyn
eISBN: 9780008648107
One More Chapter © 2024
eBook, 384 pages
Contemporary Fiction, Standalone
Rating: C+
Source: Net Galley


  1. Saved me from adding to the list.

  2. The bookshop setting is really appealing to me, Cathy. I have to say that romance novels are not my thing (although I will say I've read some good ones. So that would probably make me really hesitate to read this. Still, I've never been to Croatia, and that would be interesting.

  3. A bookshop in Dubrovnik sounds like fun!

  4. Light fun in a setting I have not visited (in person nor in print that I can recall) puts this on the list to wait for a time when I'm in the right mood for it.

  5. The Dubrovnik setting does sound very interesting. Not a site that I often visit in my reading.


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