“What if? These words tantalize and haunt us. In The Bookseller, writing with a sharp-tinged empathic pen, Cynthia Swanson takes us on a startling journey where a woman is thrust into the alternative world that might have been, had she made different choices.” (Randy Susan Meyers, author of Accidents of Marriage)
“Cynthia Swanson’s The Bookseller is both a delightful and haunting exploration of identity, love and loss. With great style and compassion, the author asks the age-old question: ‘What if my life were different?’ The answers in this affecting debut novel are truly surprising.” (Joanna Hershon, author of A Dual Inheritance)
“I inhaled The Bookseller. I loved both of Kitty’s worlds, and refused to put the book down until I saw how the tension between the two worlds resolved. A deeply satisfying read.” (Ann Napolitano, author of A Good Hard Look)
“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?’ ” (Publishers Weekly)
“The novel delivers on its fantasy scenario like a modern-day fairy tale…. proves highly satisfying.” (USA Today)
“Dexterously traversing past and present, fact and fiction, Swanson’s clever first novel ingeniously explores the inventive ways the human spirit copes with trauma.” (Booklist)
“This is a stunner of a debut novel, astonishingly tight and fast paced. The 1960s tone is elegant and even, and Kitty/Katharyn’s journey is intriguing…. This will especially resonate with fans of the movie Sliding Doors and the authors Anna Quindlen and Anita Shreve.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“Swanson’s debut novel is slightly mysterious and thoroughly engrossing, one of those books that will stay with the reader long after it is complete.” (Romantic Times)
“This is the story of a woman coming to terms with who she is; both woman and novel are beautiful.” (Shelf Awareness)
From the Back Cover
1962: It may be the Swinging Sixties in New York, but in Denver—as in many other American cities—it’s different: being a single gal over thirty is almost bohemian. Still, thirty-eight-year-old Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional life. She was involved, once, but things didn’t work out. Now she dedicates herself to the bookstore she runs, returning home each evening to her cozy apartment.
Then the dreams begin.
1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They live in a picture-perfect home in a suburban area of Denver, the ideal place to raise their children. Katharyn’s world is exactly what Kitty once believed she wanted . . . but it exists only when she sleeps.
At first, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, Katharyn’s alluring life grows more real. As the lines between the two worlds begin to blur, Kitty faces an uncertain future. What price must she pay to stay? What is the cost of letting go?