The Last Chance Library

Freya Sampson. Berkley, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-20138-1
The prospect of a British library’s closure sets in motion the awakening of a shy woman in Sampson’s winsome debut. Library assistant June Jones, 28, has worked for 10 years at the Chalcot library and has never left the village. She had once dreamed of going to university and becoming a writer, but ever since her single mother, a librarian, died of cancer almost eight years earlier, June has shut herself among the books. When the county council proposes closing the library due to budget cuts, the regular patrons protest in hopes of keeping it open. There’s Mrs. Barnsworth, who leaves the smell of wet goat in her wake and hates every book she reads; Stanley Phelps, a tweed-wearing reader of WWII novels; and romance-lover Linda. Initially, June is more concerned for her job, but when Stanley proposes the group occupy the library, June joins in and their action goes viral. They’re joined by Alex Chen, an old school friend of June’s who takes an interest in her and further brightens her spirits. While the simple prose is an initial roadblock, Sampson convincingly brings her characters to life, as well as the importance of their collective crusade to save the library. Readers will be touched by June’s transformation. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/13/2021
Release date: 08/31/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-20139-8
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-593-20137-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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