Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley


The Book

Helen has been keeping house for her brother Andrew for 15 years. Once a farmer, he is now a rather successful writer as well. However, it has gone to his head, and Helen is fed up.

One day, into the idyllic autumn of rural Long Island rolls Parnassus and her owner, Roger Mifflin. Mifflin wants to sell the book wagon in order to retire to Brooklyn to write a book of his own, and he’s eyed out Andrew as his ideal buyer.

But Helen is not about to let her brother leave the farm and duties altogether. On a whim, she shells out the asking price from her savings for a Ford, gathers a few belongings, and sets off in Parnassus with its former owner to learn the bookselling trade. But Andrew is not so pleased with the idea. . .

My Thoughts

I first heard of this book from Hanne-Col (who has the best book recs, BTW) and put it on my list of books to read. I found it last fall at my favorite bookstore, Hyde Brothers Books.

This book is a little gem, chock full of hilarious banter and wise book talk; a must read for any bibliophile. I read a couple of reviews referring to the book being about feminists, but the irony in that is Helen’s coming full circle. From housekeeper to independent, she discovers for herself what all women crave–a companion for life. And it’s such a sweet little mid-life romance. I haven’t come across very many (Mr. Pickwick’s ill-omened one doesn’t really count. :D)

It has a little dash of every ingredient that makes a book fun reading, action, comedy, gorgeous world building, three-dimensional characters, and thoughtful insights. Even though I was told the sequel is lacking in the plot department, I still want to get my hands on a copy so I can read more of Moreley’s lovely writing and meet more of his characters.

Five stars.



2 thoughts on “Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

  1. I’m so glad you loved it too! The Haunted Bookshop is fun, even if it isn’t as good as its predecessor. I bought Thorofare by Morley late last summer and I want to dig into that soon.

    But, Parnassus On Wheels and 84 Charing Cross Road are must reads for every bibliophile. I will shout their virtues from the rooftops.

    Liked by 1 person

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