Hope floats



Five years ago Sarah Henshaw asked her bank manager for a £30,000 loan to open an extraordinary bookshop on a barge. The strange business plan the suits were presented with promptly sunk. But thanks to support from her nearest and dearest The Book Barge opened six months later and had soon grown a loyal customer base of happy readers.

However, the cash register didn’t keep ringing for long so she took to the waterways, cruising the length and breadth of the country in search of the great book-buying public. Some books were bought and others were bartered for Victoria Sponge, a bed for the night or a much-needed use of the facilities! This is the tale of the many characters and hurdles (well, locks) she encountered along the way.

However, the storyline lurches around and heads off on many tangents and my frustration at her lack of business acumen and frivolous spending makes for an irritating read. Our author even describes her own attitude to starting a business by saying, “It was a naive, infantile approach.” A bookshop on a boat is such a fantastic idea and one that any bookworm can only warm to, I just wish she’d get it all ship shape. Awful pun – sorry Sarah (she hates them, understandably)

That said, I am a sucker for a bookshop and I really hope this one stays afloat somehow. Love The Book Barge but this is not as entertaining a read as it could’ve been.


Notes on the author – Sarah Henshaw

  • Still owns The Book Barge and is based on the waterways in rural Staffordshire
  • Sarah was previously a journalist



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