I bought myself a copy of The Library after seeing many of my book blogger friends raving about it.
And I’m so glad I did because here I am to rave about it as well.
About the Book
Teenager Tom has always blended 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.
Pensioner Maggie has been happily alone with her beloved novels for ten years – at least, that’s what she tells herself.
When they meet, they recognise something in each other that will change both their lives for ever.
Then the library comes under threat of closure, and they must join forces to prove that it’s not just about books – it’s the heart of their community.
They are determined to save it – because some things are worth fighting for.
The Library tells the story of the unlikely friendship between teenager Tom and pensioner Maggie. Tom is so lonely. His mother died when he was young, his father drinks too much, doesn’t show much love to Tom and struggles to make ends meet. Although he’s picked on at school, he desperately wants to stay on to do A-levels and go on to university, but his dad says he’ll need to work as they need the money. Maggie is also lonely. She has clearly had a difficult past but is one strong and feisty lady, looking after her land and animals alone.
Both characters learn a lot from each other and both really benefit from their friendship. One thing I thought Bella Osborne did brilliantly was to capture the distinctive voices of both a teenage boy and a mature woman. The close relationship between Tom and Maggie was just wonderful to read about.
A key theme in the book is the importance of libraries and the role they play in society. They’re not just somewhere where everyone can access books and unlock knowledge. They’re social hubs, places of refuge and comfort and such an integral part of a community.
I mentioned earlier that Tom’s father drinks too much and the issue of addiction is something that’s also a strong feature of the book. More than one character knows exactly the problems caused by this and we see just how difficult a problem it is to live with and the long lasting effects it can have on someone’s life.
I think that this is actually the first book I’ve read from Bella Osborne but it definitely won’t be the last. It’s such a wonderfully heart-warming read which left me with a lump in the throat. I really loved The Library and it’s on my list of Top Reads for this year.
The Library is published by Aria Fiction and is available now in
ebook, paperback and audiobook formats.
About the Author
Bella Osborne has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. In 2016, her debut novel, It Started At Sunset Cottage, was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award. Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays. She lives in the Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).