Published By: HQ
Released On: 04/08/2022
When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.
It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.
Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?
But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?
Thanks to NetGalley and HQ for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.
This is my first Rebecca Raisin book but I’ve already bookmarked her back catalogue on my wish list. The way she writes, it’s just so full of joy and passion.
I’ve said before that a story about books will already be a plus in my eyes, so this was always going to be a winner.
It’s sad to think that real libraries are going the way of the fictional ones – cuts and closures. Libraries are vital parts of the community, not just for reading but for socialising, and I think they’re so important for young children to get into reading and to realise there is a safe place for them in books. Librarians are our unsung heroes and that’s reflected in this book.
I really liked reading about Elodie. Even when she was struggling and not living her best life, she had a strength of character that was really admirable. Finn was a lovely co-star as well, fitting that romantic lead part perfectly. Elodie’s parents were hard work for most of the book, selfish, self-absorbed, proud…but her brother was a nice foil. And then the secondary characters – the likes of Harry and Maisie and Pete – they get given enough air time for you to get stuck into, but they don’t overshadow the main storyline.
I loved the plot of ‘checking out’ people instead of books, hearing their stories. I’ve seen things online about that before, in some libraries around the world they already do this and I think it’s a marvellous idea. Our elders – not only them, but other ‘invisible’ members of society too – have such fascinating stories and we just don’t listen, and that’s a shame. So I really hope it becomes a recognisable thing amongst more libraries.
The village setting of Willow Grove was gorgeous, it sounded right up my street and I want to find a community like that. Especially if I get to live in the cute cottage with the handsome man with walls covered in books. It just sounds so perfect.
There aren’t really any twists or earth shattering action, but I’m happy about that. This is a book about a community, about friends and family, about finding your heart and your soul within the inanimate (books) and the animate (people). If you’re looking for a book that will entertain you, make you smile, make you cry, fill you with joy and warm your heart – this is the one for you.