Published By: HQ
Released On: 11/03/2022
Elsie Martin may lead a quiet life, but working in her beloved local library is enough to make her happy. After all, books have always been her armour against the world. So, when the library is threatened with closure to make way for a new housing development, Elsie knows it has to be saved – and that, despite being painfully shy, she needs to lead the campaign to save it.
Jacob Yardley thinks he’s doing the right thing by building a new affordable housing development. Why shouldn’t local people be able to buy a house in the place they grew up? Having to leave his own small hometown broke his heart. Plus, people don’t really use libraries anymore, do they?
As Elsie and Jacob clash over the future of the library, sparks begin to fly. Jacob is falling back in love with books and libraries – could he possibly be falling for her too? And will Elsie be able to save the library that means so much to her?
Thanks to HQ for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.
Any book that focuses on a much-loved library and its books is a sure fire win for me.
The fictional village of Meadowbank sounded so gorgeous and is exactly the type of place I dream of living in. It enraptured me so much I started googling it to see if it was a real place I could move to. I really identified with Elsie, more so than any character I’ve read before. The description of how she has books covering her little cottage is exactly what my house looks like, and there’s just something about her personality that strikes a cord.
Parts of it are a little predictable, but not all of it; in fact I was definitely surprised with some of the plot points. But I don’t mind a bit of predictability when it gives me what I want. It was easy to read, funny, romantic, upbeat, cosy and warming.
There are a spectrum of fabulous characters – some more likeable than others – who are excellent foils for Elsie, and they’re all so real, none seem like a caricature.
For a ‘happily-ever-after’ type book, it does touch on some important topics – loneliness and isolation, grief, new motherhood, job loss, the loss of vital community hubs, and relationships.
If I had to be super picky, I’d say I felt the resolution at the end was a bit rushed given those particular characters’ opinions in the rest of the book, I felt it kind of came from nowhere, and I would have liked to have seen this explored a bit more, but I’m splitting hairs here really.
This book has the ability to transport you wholly into this wonderful place, and make you smile no matter how you’re feeling.