A is for Austen, B is for Bronte

The Thirteenth TaleA woman describes her father’s bookshop, which “In the opinion of our bank manager, it is an indulgence, one that my father’s successes entitles him to. Yet in reality–my father’s reality and mine; I don’t pretend reality is the same for everyone–the shop is the very heart of the affair.”

A is for Austen, B is for Bronte, C is for Charles and D is for Dickens. I learned my alphaget in this shop. My father walking along the shelves, me in his arms, explaining alphabetization at the same time as he taught me to spell. I learned to write there, too: copying out names and titles onto index cards that are still there in our filing box, thirty years later. The shop was both my home and my job. It was a better school for me than school ever was, and afterward it was my own private university. It was my life.”

–Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale (Atria, 2006)


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