In 1959 England, in a beautiful coastal town, widow Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) is ecstatic when she opens her own book store, named The Old House Bookshop. Because the shop is located in a heritage building, Florence runs into opposition from some of the locals, including the powerful Violet Gamart (Patricia Clarkson), who believes the building should have been turned into an arts center, not a store that offers works such as Nabokov's controversial novel, Lolita.
However, Florence earns the support and affection of a reclusive book loving widower (Bill Nighy), who's thrilled that the town finally has a bookshop. As Florence's obstacles amass and bear suspicious signs of a local power struggle, she is forced to ask: is there a place for a bookshop in a town that may not want one?
Based on Penelope Fitzgerald's acclaimed novel.