Mrs Sinclair’s suitcase
I know they say not to judge a book by it’s cover, however I am readily admitting that in this case I have. This novel’s beautiful cover is swoon worthy and would charm any bibliophile! Mrs Sinclair’s suitcase by Louise Walters is a delightful novel. The central character Roberta works in the Old & New Bookshop. She loves to collect all the random hidden treasures left within second hand books, the bookmarks, dried flowers, receipts, notes, cards, postcards,and letters. She considers them carefully and often ponders the people, the recipients of these notes, the writers of the letters and she is intrigued by the secrets and the tantalizing mysteries that surround each left behind item. As a librarian myself, I appreciate Roberta’s regard for the random ephemera that never ceases to surprise.
The other protagonist in the story is Roberta’s grandmother Dorothy. Now aging and disappearing into the apparent folds of elderly fragility and dementia, she chooses to reveal fragments of her past whilst keeping other pertinent truths as unspoken mysteries. When Roberta inherits a vintage suitcase she piece by piece learns of a wartime heartbreak, a secret romance, assumed identity and suppressed secrets. This debut novel is not entirely convincing, but as an indulgent vintage romance it is a pleasant distraction.