The openness of the Australian countryside is an apt setting for a complex exploration of grief, faith, and restoration, and in poignant, meditative, and stirring prose Hillman tells a heartrending and heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice.
Robert Hillman’s observations are astute and thoughtful as he captures the slightest mood shift and nuance of personality. The inner workings of his finely tuned and memorable characters come to life in his open, honest style of writing. In particular, Hannah’s voice carries both the sorrow of the tragedies she’s lived through and a childlike glee when she finds something marvelous. Her pursuit of beauty—despite it all—inspires.
... transcendent. It surpasses the ordinary boundaries of what could be a trite exploration of love gone sour. Instead, it rises above sentimentality to a triumphant examination of history, politics, literature, and the pall and sorrow of grief ... The nail-biting conclusion of The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted subsumes catastrophe. Its exultant resolution underscores the optimistic belief that 'the past exerts itself to influence the future.' Hillman’s vivid observations of regional details, keen perceptions of local customs, absorbing storyline, and sympathetic characters make the novel impossible to put down.