The Library at the Edge of the World

May 1, 2018

 The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

 

I love books, and I especially love books about books. Between the title and the beautiful cover of this one, I was certain this was going to be a book I loved. Unfortunately, it is only minimally about books and libraries and all things bookish, so is a good drama, but was a bit of a letdown because of what I was expecting.

 

Hanna, recently divorced after 20 years of marriage, has returned to her mother's home where she grew up in rural coastal Ireland. She accepts a job as the local librarian, although she is not particularly passionate about books and has fairly poor people skills. Her daughter, Jazz spends her college breaks between Ireland and her dad's house in London. Hanna is struggling as the daughter in the mother/daughter relationship as she and her mother are driving each other crazy sharing a home. Hanna begins remodeling her aunt's home that she inherited but that is in very rough shape.

 

Hanna is also struggling with her relationship with her daughter, Jazz. Jazz feels that Hanna is too overprotective, and Hanna and her ex have never been open with Jazz about the reason for their divorce.

 

As Hanna navigates both of these relationships, she learns that development plans for her county include shutting down the library, which would cut off her source of income. She is an unlikely hero, but falls into the role of community organizer as she pairs with one of the two remaining elderly nuns in the local convent and together they find a way to save the library and ensure its growth.

 

A touching story about family dynamics, a woman recovering from a divorce and finding her purpose, and a community coming together, this is a lovely book, just not the book I thought I was getting into, but lovely nonetheless.

 

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