The Bookshop (2017) Movie Review, The Struggle of a Woman Who Loves Books to Start a Bookstore


If you are a female reader and book lover, the film The Bookshop (2017) you must watch. As the title suggests, this film is about a bookstore, which was started by a woman who loves books. However, the story is certainly not that simple. Florence Green, a woman who loves books, started her bookstore business in a small port city in mainland Europe whose residents are famous for not reading books. It wasn’t easy for him to maintain his bookstore with a lot of resistance from local residents who didn’t like him. The Bookshop (2017) is a summary of the story of a woman’s struggle for her love of books.

The Bookshop Movie Review (2017)

Film The Bookshop (2017) novel of the same title by a female author named Penelope Fitzgerald. Film The Bookshop (2017) background in a small port town in Hardborough, Suffolk, a fictional area in mainland Britain around the 1950s. At that time, in an attempt to recover from grief after the loss of her husband who was also a book lover, who died in the war—Florence Green, decided with all determination and courage, that she would start a bookstore in that small town. Right in his house, an old house called The Old House,which the past seven years have simply been neglected. So, Florence Green started the steps one by one patiently. He did paperwork with his lawyer, took care of bank loans, ordered his first books, and prepared The Old House.

No matter what people say, Florence Green finally opened the bookstore as well. Although according to the people in the city, there is no one who reads books other than Mr. Brundish, an old man who is widowed and lives alone in his big house. Many people doubted his business, but Florence Green remained determined to continue his business because of his love of books.

The real conflict began to surface when Florence Green realized that the influential wealthy husband and wife couple in the small town, Mr. Gamart & his wife Violet Gamart, apparently have other plans about The Old House. Silently so as not to be too obvious, they tried various tactics to ‘seize’ The Old House , with the excuse that they wanted to make it a museum of local culture. Never mind, that the house holds fond memories of Florence Green with her late husband.

The Bookshop (2017) might be categorized as a slow-paced movie, which presents an oldish impression and jazz music as the background. Looks old, but unique, relaxed and classic—though not everyone is happy and fits this style. Readers of the book in particular will like how the narrator speaks from the beginning of the film as if he were telling a story: so comfortable for book lovers. At the end of the film, the identity of the narrator is fully revealed, becoming a delightful ending to a film about the struggles of women who love books.

Closer to the Figure of Florence Green in The Bookshop (2017)

One of the most striking things about Florence Green is her love of books. Throughout the film The Bookshop (2017), we will notice the many times Florence Green enjoys quality alone time with a book in hand: on the lawn, in the bedroom, in the bookstore. Books also helped her to go through the deep sorrow of the loss of her husband who died on the battlefield. Florence Green often remembers how she and her husband enjoyed their romantic time together with books at home—both brought to each other by books. The romance that Florence Green often misses is the times when her husband reads to her.

Florence Green has no children. It made him have to survive alone through grief, even to start a bookstore. Not told in the film, Florence Green has relatives and family in the small town. He was the only one, trying to get up and start something new. For him, as a book lover. For the city of Hardborough which is still foreign to the habit of reading books and bookstores.

“Wouldn’t it be better to fill the place with books for people to look at?”

—Florence Green, in the film The Bookshop (2017)
Starting a bookstore is a new journey that is so happy for Florence Green. He was happy when his first ordered books arrived. He was happy that The Old House was ready to welcome book buyers and readers with its simple bookstore sign. He was happy when he walked through the shelves full of books he had arranged in The Old House which had been turned into a bookstore. He is happy when he chooses books to display on the glass display of his bookstore, so that passersby can notice.

In the twists and turns of her journey to pioneering a bookstore, Florence Green also stumbled because of the societal stigma against her status as a widow. Although not explicitly stated, these stigmas are clearly implied in several scenes in the film The Bookshop (2017). Including how he is considered not supposed to wear a dressred when attending Mr. & Mrs. Gamart. Including how inaccurate gossip about her and her late husband spread so uncontrollably. Including how local people think he should not be friends with Mr. Brundish—who, because of a shared love for books, had become a loyal customer of his bookstore and a good friend. It was definitely not easy being a widowed woman at that time.

“Dear Mr. Thornton, a good book is the precious distillation of a master’s spirit, embalmed and preserved for the purpose of achieving a life beyond life, which is why it is undoubtedly a necessary commodity.”

—Florence Green, in the film The Bookshop (2017)
Florence Green’s struggle ended with a sad story. He was cornered with no other choice but to close his bookstore and lose ownership of The Old House . As a woman who is alone because she is a widow with no relatives at all, even without economic privileges—admittedly, Florence Green has done her best to fight against the wealthy elite couple, Mr. & Mrs. Gamart, who turned out to be moving everyone in the small town to kick him out of the way he never expected.

Christine Gipping, a girl who doesn’t like reading books but works part-time at her bookstore, leaves at the harbor after doing something she didn’t expect—Christine Gipping set fire to The Old House that had been robbed of Florence Green. The house looked smoky as the ship carrying Florence Green slowly headed out to sea. However, the book that Florence gave to Christine, he did not forget to take from there and held Christine tightly in his hand.

“How right she was when she said that no one ever feels alone in a bookshop.”

—Narrator, referring to Florence Green, in The Bookshop (2017)
Even though Florence Green was driven out of that small town and from her own home, without realizing it, she had passed on to Christine Gipping her courage and love of books. Who would have thought, Christine Gipping, who previously didn’t like reading books, turned out to be a reader and book lover who continued Florence Green’s ideals: Christine Gipping started a bookstore as well when she was growing up. As it turned out, Florence Green’s struggle was not in vain and she did not lose. Florence Green, unexpectedly, had succeeded in becoming the woman who inspired a little girl named Christine Gipping.