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"The Bookseller" Examines the Double-Life We All Crave

HarperCollins Publishers

Author and Milwaukee native Cynthia Swanson's novel,  The Bookseller, was sparked by her own realization that the life she was living was not the one she had pictured for herself.

Swanson says, "One day I was at the gym... and I just had this moment for a second where I just thought, 'what in the world am I doing in this life? What happened to life I used to have?'"

“It made me start thinking about a character, and what it would be like to be a character who wasn’t sure what life she belonged in," she says.. "And started thinking about two different lives and how we all we all have those little moments that make our lives turn one way or the other. And that idea fascinated me.” 

The Bookseller tells the story of Kitty Miller, a bookstore owner in Denver, Colorado. Kitty is single and happy with the life she lives. That is, until she begins to dream of a separate life where she is married and has a good life with happy children. 

“You find over time that nothing’s perfect. There’s no ideal life," Swanson says.

“We can only control so much and so much more is based on how we react to what’s beyond our control and that’s really where the level of your happiness can come from," she says. "It's in how you behave around the things that are beyond your control.”

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.