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THE LAST LIBRARY by Freya Sampson

You can tell a lot about a person from the library books they borrow

Library assistant June knows a lot about the regulars at Chalcot Library, yet they know very little about her. When her mum – the beloved local librarian – passed away eight years ago, June stepped into her shoes. But despite their shared love of books, shy June has never felt she can live up to the village’s memory of her mum. Instead, she’s retreated into herself and her memories, surviving on Chinese takeaways-for-one and rereading their favourite books at home.

When the library is threatened with closure, a ragtag band of eccentric locals establish the Friends of Chalcot Library campaign. There’s gentlemanly pensioner Stanley, who visits the library for the computers and the crosswords, cantankerous Mrs B, who is yet to find a book she approves of, and teenager Chantal, who just wants a quiet place to study away from home. But can they compel reclusive June to join their cause?

If June wants to save the library, she finally has to make some changes to her life: opening up her heart to friendship, opportunities and maybe even more . . .

Title : The Last Library
Author : Freya Sampson
Format : Paperback ARC
Page Count : 384
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Zaffre Books
Release Date : September 2, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 3 star review

Sense of community
Platonic feels brimming
Save the books!

This was a sweet contemporary fiction about a small town sense of community with a oddly mixed but comfortable bunch of characters. June was the lost soul at the centre of this tale, the librarian who had never got over her mother’s death, stuck in a kind of stasis.

June was definitely a likeable character with what seemed to be some social anxiety. She held herself back from life and sometimes that was frustrating but she had some people around her that gently nudged her from her comfortable spot.

I really loved Stanley and Alex. Stanley in particular had the most appealing storyline and he made my heart crumble. There were also some incredibly irritating characters, an aloof cat and lots of books to offset the annoying characters.

This was an easy contemporary read, low concentration needed and perfect for a weekend or day’s immersion.

Libraries are like a net, there to catch those of us in danger of falling through the cracks.

Thank you to Zaffre Books for the review copy.

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