By Bella Osborne
What it’s about?
Two different generations. Two unusual people. Thrown together to save their local library.
Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie.
Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future.
They each set out to prove that the library isn’t just about books – it’s the heart of their community.
Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.
What I think:
I loved everything about this book!
Tom is a great character who goes on such a journey of self-discovery throughout the story. 16 and approaching his GCSEs, Tom is struggling. His mother died when he was younger and it is just him and his dad. His father is struggling to pay the bills and control his drinking. Tom’s only outlet is his Xbox and then that is taken from him. Looking for something to fill his time and help with his revision he heads to the village library.
At the library he meets Maggie. Widowed and still working her small farm, Maggie is bright and busy but lonely. She has few friends and fills her days baking and reading.
When Tom helps Maggie one Saturday afternoon they begin a friendship that may be the saving of both of the.
Their forendship is so genuine and develops with immense warmth and humour. The details of their lives and sometimes tragic, but their resilience and strength shine through. It is an unlikely but perfect combination.
The book highlights just how important libraries can be, particularly for small communities. As well as the obvious books, it provides friendship and routine, support and a safe place for people to go. Sadly, the campaign to save the library is one that many communities have faced in real life.
This is a great read. You will be rooting for the characters from the first page. Highly recommend it.
Thank you to Nethallet for my gifted copy of The Library