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The Bookseller

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 26, 2015 – In 1962, Kitty wakes in Katharyn's bed next to Katharyn's husband, Lars. Down the hall are Katharyn's children: Missy, Mitch, and Michael. In the mirror, Katharyn's reflection looks exactly like Kitty's, and Kitty is able to recall specific memories and behaviors of Katharyn's with disturbing accuracy. But Kitty and Katharyn are not the same Katharyn is just the woman Kitty becomes in her dreams. In reality, Kitty is single, childless, and owns a floundering bookstore with her best friend, Frieda. She has pursuits and interests that Katharyn's life has no room for. Initially believing that Katharyn is a figment of her imagination, a pleasant dream showing what married life could have been like, Kitty identifies the one moment that prevented her life from becoming Katharyn's. Kitty's uncertainty about which woman's reality is real consumes her. Swanson masterfully crafts both Kitty's and Katharyn's worlds, leaving open the question of which of them is real until the final pages. Swanson's evocative novel freshly considers the timeless question, "What if?"

Customer Reviews

Very enjoyable

I enjoyed this book. It's intriguing and amusing.

The Bookseller

This is a wonderful book. Beautiful writing. I could not tell where the story was going until the last quarter of the book, but the plot was seamless and lyrical. Obviously, I highly recommend it.

Thoroughly Enjoyable

This book was a joy to read. I wanted to finish it to see what happened, but at the same time I didn't want it to ever end, so that I could savor every minute. I highly recommend this book.

The Bookseller
View in iTunes
  • $2.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Mar 03, 2015
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings