• The Bermondsey Bookshop

  • By: Mary Gibson
  • Narrated by: Anne Dover
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (134 ratings)

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The Bermondsey Bookshop

By: Mary Gibson
Narrated by: Anne Dover
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Publisher's Summary

'Happiness had never been something she'd looked for. A quiet day with no insults or wallops, that was the best she could imagine.'

Set in 1920s London, this is the inspiring story of Kate Goss' struggle against poverty, hunger and cruel family secrets. 

Her mother died in a fall, her father has vanished without trace, and now her aunt and cousins treat her viciously. In a freezing, vermin-infested garret, factory girl Kate has only her own brave spirit and dreams of finding her father to keep her going. She has barely enough money to feed herself, or to pay the rent. The factory where she works begins to lay off people and it isn't long before she has fallen into the hands of the violent local money-lender. That is until an unexpected opportunity comes her way - a job cleaning a most unusual bookshop, where anyone, from factory workers to dockers, can learn to read and then buy books cheaply. A new world opens up, but with it come new dangers, too. 

Based on the true story of the Bermondsey Bookshop, this is the most inspiring and gripping novel Mary Gibson has yet written. 

©2020 Mary Gibson (P)2020 Head of Zeus

What listeners say about The Bermondsey Bookshop

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A glimpse into the past

Its not usually the books I go for but this was a wonderful tale. Full of so many emotions, drama, fear, excitement, sadness and love.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic book!

I loved this book along with Mary Gibson's other books that I have listened to and I love Anne Dovers narration 🦋

1 person found this helpful

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Well narrated and engaging story

This is a great story with a focus on reality for the time period, love and moving on. The narrator did an excellent job with voices and keeping the story moving along

1 person found this helpful

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Lovely story

I loved this book. I listened to it on many short car trips and found it just right for that purpose. I want to learn more about Bermondsey.

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Captivating story, perfectly read

Fabulous! I couldn’t stop listening. Such a good book it kept me from work and other obligations. Excellent.

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  • Ms
  • 02-25-20

The Bermondsey book shop

Good story made for excellent listening by the wonderful narrator Anne Dover .. she is brilliant with every book that she narrates

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sakazoke
  • 02-18-20

The Bermondsey Bookshop

Another fantastic book by Mary. She really wrote a story that was full of drama...........some sad. But that twinkle of hope, love, and adventure was there for all to enjoy.
Anne Dover the narrator read the book to perfection. She always does. I could feel and truly believe each and every character.
I for one didn’t want the book to end. I truly wanted to listen to more.
Thank you Mary. You made 2020 of my listings too a very happy one.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 05-24-20

I Love Books And Bookshops!

Kate was struggling. Life hadn’t dealt fairly with her. In spite of this, she wasn’t bitter.

Kate dragged herself up from poverty, through her own hard work, personality, with a little help from friends and an unexpected source.

The setting of 1920’s London, with some mobility between rich & poor, but also with such a vast gap between them.

I love the fact that it was based on the true story of the Bermondsey Bookshop.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Vic
  • 03-23-20

Bermondsey Bookshop

A true depiction of East end life in London in the past. The author clearly has a connection and personal experience of her topic. It’s well written, descriptive, realistic, honest and I couldn’t stop listening. Excellently narrated too! I loved listening to this story from beginning to end!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Bingham
  • 07-05-20

simply superb....

It would be so easy to run out of superlatives when describing this book. Suffice to say it is brilliantly written...interesting and thoroughly absorbing...add to that the perfect narration from Anne Dover who gave it a "real feel" I would give it at least 6*. Would highly recommend

4 people found this helpful

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  • lou
  • 06-26-20

spell bounding

absolutely brilliant beautifully read the story catches you at alot of turns very highly recommended

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sophie prudence
  • 06-28-20

Enjoyed the story

Lots of ups and downs x sometimes predictable x but very romantic too x and a real edge that kept me in

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • June Howley
  • 11-19-20

Highly implausible

I struggled with this book both story and narration. Hard done by impoverished girl makes good. Has been done by many and better. The accents created by the narrator were nothing like the south London accents I’ve known. When, half way through the book the girl discovers who her father is it will take a great leap of faith to carry on. I continued hoping it would somehow get better. It didn’t.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-12-20

The Bermondsey Bookshop

This was my first experience of an audio novel and I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it! I've not read this author before but will certainly look for more of her fine stories.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 05-29-20

Bermondsey as was

enjoyed from start to finish. kept me motivated in the garden during lockdown. Corona virus

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss M.
  • 04-01-21

Hated the ending

Review contains spoilers



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Whilst I loved the performance and almost all of the story, I absolutely hated the ending... the way Kate returned to Johnny who was a violent man and the way it was portrayed that she was at fault for their relationship breakdown when it was because he was physically violent was awful and gaslighting. I hated the part at the end where she left her fiancé and it said her heart wasn’t broken, it was just incomplete... and then Johnny came back.

It did a huge disservice to the strength of the female characters in the story. The fact that Kate had survived such hardship, and that almost all of the women had survived either physical or sexual assault seemed to be belittled by her returning to a man with a history of explosive violence.

Honestly, other than the last two chapters, I loved the book. I would have given it 4.5 stars. The characters were beautifully described and had excellent development. They just all seemed to betray all of that in the final two chapters.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Spottydog
  • 05-31-20

Great story

Loved this storyline with interesting characters and some unexpected twists. As always narrator Anne Dover is superb.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-21-21

Enjoyable story

This is a well narrated story that brings the characters to life as you read. The story immerses you in their lives and you want the heroine of the story to triumph even if she frustrates you occasionally!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-22

Superb Story

Great story Ann Dover never disappoints as narrator. Minus a star for the lack lustre ending.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-17-21

Brilliant

This was such a lovely heart warming story Not what I normanly listen to. Everything about this was a delight. Loved the characters and friendships that developed It is a must. looking forward to listening to more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-21

Great listen

loved it...couldn't stop listening.
Great listen whilst in bed unwell.
loved the characters and the story line. Great ending.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dianne Corston
  • 05-11-21

I devoured this story!

I couldn't stop thinking about this story, the characters, where it was leading. I was totally hooked.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheryl
  • 05-11-21

lovely little story

I enjoyed this book. I have been reading action packed books of late and this has been a great change in pace and genre. looking for something else similar now as I enjoyed this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonita N. Jones
  • 04-06-21

Lovely story

Great book and the narrator is brilliant. I love great endings, and the lead up to this one is very twisty.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-21

Great story telling

Loved the story, the narrator was very easy to listen to and made each character alive and interesting.