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About The Book

In this #1 international bestseller, a young woman leaves everything behind to work as a librarian in a remote French village, where she finds her outlook on life and love challenged in every way.

Prudencia Prim is a young woman of intelligence and achievement, with a deep knowledge of literature and several letters after her name. But when she accepts the post of private librarian in the village of San Ireneo de Arnois, she is unprepared for what she encounters there. Her employer, a book-loving intellectual, is dashing yet contrarian, always ready with a critique of her cherished Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. The neighbors, too, are capable of charm and eccentricity in equal measure, determined as they are to preserve their singular little community from the modern world outside.

Prudencia hoped for friendship in San Ireneo but she didn't suspect that she might find love—nor that the course of her new life would run quite so rocky or would offer challenge and heartache as well as joy, discovery, and fireside debate. Set against a backdrop of steaming cups of tea, freshly baked cakes, and lovely company, The Awakening of Miss Prim is a distinctive and delightfully entertaining tale of literature, philosophy, and the search for happiness.

About The Author

Lorena Sanmartin

Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera is a journalist and has spent the majority of her professional career in the field investigating economic journalism. The Awakening of Miss Prim is her debut novel.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 8, 2014)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476734255

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Raves and Reviews

“An exquisitely delicate, distinctive and inspiring story that will leave your heart undone, open to the beauty of the little things in life.”

– Elle (Spain)

“This charming and intelligent debut novel is certain to be a hit.”

– Library Journal, Starred Review

The Awakening of Miss Prim is a beautifully written novel. Its characters are brought to life so eloquently, and the blossoming of Miss Prim is so complete: she learns the value in life and love that has been lost in our modern-day hustle. An exquisite book and a joy to read.”

– Deborah Rodriguez, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

"A heart-warming and sweet story of small-town life and self-discovery.”

– Vanessa Greene, author of The Vintage Teacup Club

“The Awakening of Miss Prim reminds me of The Elegance of the Hedgehog.”

– Pippa Wright, author of The Foster Husband

“Readers who loved Joanne Harris's Chocolat, Jessica Brockmole's Letters from Skye or Gabrielle Zevin's The Collected Works of AJ Fikry will be charmed by the blossoming of Miss Prim. Already a bestseller in Europe, this charming and intelligent debut novel is certain to be a hit with book groups. Highly recommended.”

– US Library Journal

"Written with intelligence, grace, and style."


“A captivating story…The Awakening of Miss Prim is an intelligent read that’s more than a little out of the box.”


“This book is about…a myriad of things, such as romance, beauty, literature, art, philosophy, and even feminism. But I think that what I love about this book is not so much as the theme, but the fact that it interrogates and questions your beliefs and principles. As readers, we are put into the shoes of Miss Prim as we are slowly being questioned, dismantled, laid bare, and finally awakened to one of the things that we seek in life, and that is beauty.”

– Bibliophile’s Reverie, blog review

“Exactly the kind of story I adore…. There’s a wealth of character development and depth. A variety of topics are explored – religion, philosophy, there’s even a debate on the merits of Mr. Darcy…. I loved every minute.”

– The Pretty Good Gatsby, blog review

“I really enjoyed the feel of this novel. There is something in the authorial voice that feels like Gaiman meets Austen. It is a sweet little feel good story.”

– The Readist, blog review

“It echoes of Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, three of my favorite books. In short, I had fun reading this book, and I think you will too.”

– Betsy Reads Books, blog review

“Something about this book made me inexplicably happy…. It was just delightful.”

– My Thoughts…Literally, blog review

“Written in a style and tradition reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice, The Awakening of Miss Prim tackles what it means to step outside your comfort zone, and how travel and new perspectives can change your entire outlook.… An ideal summer read.”

–, review

“As light and sweet as the homemade pastries that feature prominently on its pages, The Awakening of Miss Prim is a charming fable about the beauty of changing one’s mind.”

– Shelf Awareness, Online review

"An ideal book club read."


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