One of the reasons why I love the show The Office so much is that by the final scene of the final episode one breathes a sigh of contentment, turns off the program and walks about the rest of the day smiling. When you take part in a story by listening to it, reading it, watching it (etcetera) there is a certain amount of trust involved. After all, one is investing a lot of time and (often) emotional energy into the exploit, and in the case of text and audio mediums has actively co-created the story in the mind and heart—oh, the betrayal that can be felt when a most beloved character is killed off senselessly or loses his fortune or has her dreams smattered! With The Office, every good thing that I could have hoped for the characters comes to pass. I won’t say what happens, but you almost experience that the unspoken agreement between storyteller and recipient has been carried out with supreme sympathy, to the point of being comfortingly indulgent (at least I did). Everything is as it should be.
The Bookshop is decidedly not one of those stories, but I liked it anyway.