The BVI's best selection of bestsellers, new releases, kids books, games, stationery and puzzles

NOOK Reader Reviews

Find out what our readers think of their NOOK books...



31st October 2023
'River Sing Me Home' by Eleanor Shearer
Review by Dana Kampa

"Eleanor Shearer’s River Sing Me Home will simultaneously have readers’ hearts soaring with hope, sinking with dread, and pounding with anticipation for what is to come as the intrepid Rachel sets out on a harrowing journey to find her children in a newly emancipated world. This book is a phenomenal new contribution to stories unraveling the complexities of slavery coming to an end in the Caribbean, and I think it is a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in the history of the region. I was brought to tears with this story’s unflinching look into how families were wrenched apart and lives were destroyed. But it also shows the strength of people coming together to support one another in building new lives. In the face of vengeful slave owners, treacherous jungle treks, and fear of the unknown, a mother’s unwavering love rises above.
We first meet Rachel as she runs from a plantation in Barbados right after the announcement that slavery was ending, escaping compulsory “apprenticeship” taking its place. Upon securing her freedom, she takes on the task of seeking her daughters and sons who were stolen from her. Rachel’s determination knows no bounds as she sails to British Guiana and Trinidad to track down the remnants of her far-flung family, always holding out hope for the best but fearing the worst in a society where violence runs rampant.
I was surprised to learn this was Ms. Shearer’s debut book considering the epic journey is such an expertly woven tapestry of a complex and dark time in history. Rachel’s inner dialogue takes the reader on an emotional journey with every step she takes, constantly questioning if there was reason to hold out hope. I found myself constantly trying to anticipate who was friend or foe in her journey. With every child she set out to find, I desperately hoped for a happy reunion but knew fate could be cruel.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. The author is among the lineup of talented writers being featured at the upcoming 3rd annual BVI Lit Fest, and I can’t wait to hear about everything that went into this story. Be sure to pick up a copy!"


20th September 2023
'The Bookbinder' by Pip Williams
Review by Penny Compton

"I was really looking forward to reading 'The Bookbinder' by Pip Williams, as I had loved her previous book 'The Dictionary of Lost Words'. Both books are set in the same time period, 1914-1918 - only this time we are exploring the other side of the printing press – the book binding section.

Peggy and Maude, twin sisters with very different personalities, live on a narrow boat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the university press. Their mother died young but always encouraged Peggy’s curiosity and voracious reading habit. However, Maude is vulnerable with learning disabilities, so Peggy feels obliged to look after her and quashes her desire to attend Somerville College, the women’s arm of Oxford University and be a “gown”, not a “town”.

After Germany invades Belgium an influx of refugees arrive in Oxford – one of these is Lotte who has lost everything but works with Maude and helps her become more independent. Peggy befriends Bastiaan when she volunteers to read to patients in the hospital. His face has been severely disfigured from burns but by the time his bandages are removed they are very close, and it doesn’t seem to matter to her.

I enjoyed the whole book very much indeed and even had to reach for the tissues once or twice! Peggy is the focus of the story, and it is told from her point of view. Luckily she's an easy to character to like and admire.

Pip Williams writes really well and has a great knowledge of her topic. I had no idea how books were bound and found that process fascinating. There are some great characters throughout the book – I particularly liked Tilda and Lotte who supported the girls in achieving their dreams. This was a great read and I highly recommend it."



26th August 2023
'Not a Happy Family' by Shari Lapel
Review by Gevonie Percival

"NOT A HAPPY FAMILY by Shari Lapena, WHAT A BOOK!!  This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I absolutely loved it! Its suspenseful scenes transformed me into a detective as I tried to solve the murders of Fred and Sheila Mercer, the extremely wealthy couple that lives in a beautiful luxurious house in an elite neighborhood. The brutal murders all happened after an Easter dinner with their three dysfunctional adult children and their partners, all of whom stand to inherit millions and a taste for revenge.

I loved the plot and the way the author leisurely released details that made me second-guess each time I’d come to a verdict. The entire family is corrupt and delusional which creates many hilarious commotions.   All the characters in this book are petty, malicious, and vindictive thus ensuring it was difficult to assume who the murderer was.  I especially loved Audrey, Fred’s sister. She was told by Fred that he was changing his will and leaving her half his fortune, except he didn’t, thus sending Audrey into a comical and hysterical frenzy trying to figure out who murdered her brother but more importantly who stopped her from becoming rich. It’s such a twisted narrative as the siblings stuck together yet threw each other under the bus while still being satisfied that one of them did the deed.

This book is perfect for anyone seeking an intense murder mystery as you’re immersed in loads of lies and secrets among all the characters, even the housekeeper/nanny. There are tons of shockers thrown in throughout the book, keeping me hooked until the very end. An ending, by the way, I was not anticipating at all.  It is an absolutely gripping book, one that kept me up late at night reading."

25th July 2023
The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Review by Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel
"THE BOOK OF MAGIC is required reading for those of us who watched and loved Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in 1998's PRACTICAL MAGIC. The series follows the Owens family, who all happen to be witches under a curse that wrecks their love lives. This time, author Alice Hoffman lets us see sisters Gillian and Sally Owens in their middle age, and get to know Sally's daughters Kylie and Antonia as young adults.
I was fascinated to see the way a curse laid down hundreds of years ago rippled through the generations of very different Owenses. I loved reading more about the now elderly aunts Franny and Jet and their clever ways through and around the family curse. I found myself sympathizing with Sally's overprotective decision to hide the family's magical abilities from her daughters. Of course, the secret comes out, and sends Kylie on an international adventure to try to undo the curse by dark magic. 
The enchantment of this book is in the lengths to which the Owens family will go to find and help Kylie. I was inspired by how the entire family came together and faced their past with love and honesty. To me, it's a beautiful take on millenials' bravery facing different kinds of generational trauma."