The Bookman’s Tale
By: Charlie Lovett
The Bookman’s Tale, authored by rare book collector, playwright and teacher Charlie Lovett is truly a novel of obsession. This transportive work carries the reader from North Carolina across the pond to London and the quaint towns of the English Countryside. Centered around the world of antiquarian books and one bibliophile’s quest to find that one work that will change the landscape of the literary world, Peter Byerly finds and looses a love that will make even the most cynical heart melt. When all seems lost he finds the painting of a woman who bears uncanny resemblance to his deceased wife. Rediscovering his passion in a quest to discover the identity of the subject of this old watercolor Lovett whisks you on a journey both through the time of Shakespeare and his counterparts as well as a mystery through the modern English countryside and a family feud as old as Byerly’s beloved books.
The perfect book to take to the beach or to curl up with on a chilly day, The bookman’s Tale will sweep you away. Unlike other novels which reward you with spikes of action and drama for making it through lulls and filler, this novel maintains a wonderfully steady pace. Lovett in my humble opinion has discovered the perfect balance of backstory and action, history and intrigue. A socially awkward man, you’ll find yourself falling in love with Peter Byerly and as equally obsessed with discovering the truth about not only the woman in the painting, but whether he could have truly found that one work that will leave his imprint on the literary world. Action, murder, love and mystery make this a well-rounded book that everyone will enjoy. Those passionate about love stories, history enthusiasts, avid adventurists, and those who love to travel the world through the pages of a book will all find this an enjoyable read.
Charlie Lovett is obviously not adverse to research. It shows through the extensible knowledge of seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century literature, culture and more. The skills of bookbinding and conservation are artfully described. His imagination and creativity have been honed through his years of writing and are evident in his wonderfully three-dimensional characters. The story line in The Bookman’s Tale evolves at a well measured pace. Just when you think you know what is next, the story takes another turn. It is a delightful read that you will loathe to put down. I could not get enough of Peter Byerly, his love for the dearly departed Amanda, as well as the mystery that beautifully unfolds. Not one to reread books, this book may change my ways.