The Echo of Old Books
Barnes & Noble
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: March 28, 2023
A novel about the magical lure of books and summoning the courage to rewrite our stories by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Keeper of Happy Endings and The Last of the Moon Girls.
Rare-book dealer Ashlyn Greer's affinity for books extends beyond the intoxicating scent of old paper, ink, and leather. She can feel the echoes of the books' previous owners-an emotional fingerprint only she can read. When Ashlyn discovers a pair of beautifully bound volumes that appear to have never been published, her gift quickly becomes an obsession. Not only is each inscribed with a startling incrimination, but the authors, Hemi and Belle, tell conflicting sides of a tragic romance.
With no trace of how these mysterious books came into the world, Ashlyn is caught up in a decades-old literary mystery, beckoned by two hearts in ruins, whoever they were, wherever they are. Determined to learn the truth behind the doomed lovers' tale, she reads on, following a trail of broken promises and seemingly unforgivable betrayals. The more Ashlyn learns about Hemi and Belle, the nearer she comes to bringing closure to their love story-and to the unfinished chapters of her own life.Add on Goodreads
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"Innovative Use Of Both Duology And Story-Within-A-Story. There is so much to like about this book, but I suspect that later reviews will hit all you need to know about just how strong at least one of the two romances here is - one is clearly one of those life-altering once-in-a-lifetime loves which we mostly see play out via two books, the other romance is a more contemporary (40 years ago anyway, which is still more recent than the 80 yrs ago for the first romance) tale of two people coming together via unusual circumstance. But it is truly the duology/ story-within-a-story structure that I want to highlight here, as this is what truly propels this book and makes it everything that it eventually becomes. I'd never seen this particular approach done - yes, there are other books with stories-within-stories, but this was truly the first time I'd ever encountered a duology done this way, and Davis manages to make all *three* books - the duology plus this actual book we're actually reading "in real life" - truly compelling due to the nature of how she has crafted this. Simply superb, and truly, truly well executed. And yes, the actual romance aspects of this are well done, as are the heart-wrenching dramatics. You want a book for "Most Anticipated of 2023"? This very book had better be on that list. Very much recommended."
–Jeff VR Sexton, Book Reviewer
“Woven with intriguing historical elements, The Echo of Old Books celebrates an enduring romance that overcomes all obstacles and the transformative power of love to heal the pain of past secrets. A big-hearted gem of a novel sure to delight true book lovers everywhere."
–Christine Nolfi, bestselling author of The Brighter Flame
"Restoration is a long and involved business, particularly when the damage is extensive. Progress will be slow. Expect setbacks. Exercise patience. Persist." Ashlyn Greer - The Care & Feeding of Old Books. I've voraciously consumed all of Barbara Davis's books, but this gem of a dual timeline, which features a protagonist who owns an antique bookshop, has woven its way into my heart. Davis is the master of breathing a bit of magic into her characters in a way that is so subtle and charming it becomes believable. In "Echos," Ashlyn Greer can hold an old book in her hands and perceive the emotion of the person who previously owned it. This gift isn't arbitrary. It drives the plot and plays an important role in the dual timeline narrative, which centers on two books written by star-crossed lovers. Captivated by these books and driven to find out what happened to the people who wrote them, Ashlyn sets out on a quest to track down the two lovers who had loved and hurt each other a long time ago. The charm of Echos derives from the ever-surprising discovery of love, warmth, and connections of the heart. Davis deals with this subject with a masterful subtlety that is guaranteed to enchant a wide variety of readers. The Echo of Old Books is a shining testament to the redemptive power of love. I took my time reading this story, savoring all the beautiful sentences, because I didn't want it to end. Highly recommend."
–Terry Lynn Thomas, bestselling author of The Silent Woman