BOOK CLUB: The Library

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[Total: 6 Average: 4.8]

The Library by Bella Osborne is a wonderful, endearing story of an unlikely friendship between Tom Harris, an awkward 16 year old and Maggie Mann, a 72 years young pensioner.

Together they find ways to cope with what ever life throws at them.

Tom believes he is invisible, not actually invisible, but someone who is never noticed. His mother died when he was 8, and his Father, Paul, hasn’t coped with her death. Tom is finding it difficult to live with his father, who is now an alcoholic. Tom has plans to go to university, but his dad has plans for him to work at the local dog food factory.

Tom rather likes a girl in his class, he feels as if he turns into an over ripe vegetable when he tries to say hello. He remembers that his mother liked romance novels, so maybe if he reads some romance novels it will help him understand girls!

Tom joins the Compton Mallow Library. It turns out Tom is not invisible in the Library.

Maggie attends the library every Saturday. Not that she minds living alone on her farm on the edge of the village, but she missed company. Attending the library every week for Book Club has become important to her.

Maggie and the rest of the Book Club definitely notice Tom, as any male under the age of 60 is a rare sight in the library!

As Maggie leaves the library, she is mugged and her bag is stolen. Tom rushes to help her. The mugging is the most exciting thing that has happened in years to Maggie.

There is a connection between them and so begins their friendship.

Unfortunately, Maggie has a secret that she hopes Tom never discovers.

When the Compton Mallow Library is to be closed down, Maggie and Tom are right there leading the protest and the fight to keep their favourite space open. After all, it isn’t just a library, but the heart of their community.

The two friends learn so much from each other and their friendship changes both their lives.
Will they be successful in saving the library?

It is a wonderful story of two people whose lives have not been easy. The book is written with a lovely touch of humour and so easy to read.

It is a really enjoyable read. Thank you to head of Zeus for the opportunity to read this book.

ISBN: 9781801100465
Copy courtesy of Head of Zeus

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Library by Bella Osborne You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

15 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Library

  1. This was a wonderful read with the story told from the perspective of two characters Maggie, a head strong but lonely seventy-two year old woman and Tom, a sixteen year old boy. Maggie is concerned she is lonely and wishes she had connections with people. I think Maggie’s life can be easily summed up in this quote from her: “There was something oddly isolating about being surrounded by people and yet completely alone”. Tom feels invisible too but is guarded and as his life is falling apart he looks for solace in the library. As he starts to take comfort in this place, he and the few people who frequently visit the library are told it will be permanently closed. This and an attack on Maggie start off an unusual friendship between the pair. As his world falls apart Maggie provides a voice of reason, parenting and the support and kindness that Tom needs to thrive. But it isn’t all one way.

    This was an easy book to read and the pattern of hearing the story from both lead characters creates a sense of rhythm and progression of the storyline. And behind it all is the library, which is much more than just a building filled with books to the people of the town.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Aria Fiction for the opportunity to read and review The Library.

  2. A heart warming book that tells true the struggles that exist with life.
    Tom, a school aged boy who lost his mum some years ago is struggling with a failing relationship with his dad and losing the memories of his mum. His life going forward seems planned out for him – the dog food factory – but he wants more than this. He seeks comfort in the books and location of the library.
    Maggie, an older woman, lives on her own on a property out of town. Her main contact with the world is her Saturday afternoon book club at the town library. Her days are lonely but the book club gives her something to look forward to – human contact.
    A mugging and a bloodied nose after an afternoon at the library introduces the two of them to each other. A strange relationship but from it both their lives change for the better. But what if the link, the library is gone.
    I found this story to give a warm and fuzzy with truths about realities of some lives, bringing up valid themes of alcoholism, financial challenges, bullying and friendship. I really enjoyed the read, thank you beauty & lace and Author Bella Osborne.

  3. The Library is one of those rare stories that catches you by surprise. I expected this to be a good read to fill in some time while waiting for my next book to read. Instead, I got a great story that grabs you and doesn’t let go. I especially loved the unlikely cross-generational friendship between Tom and Maggie and the layers this revealed throughout the book.
    Thank you Beauty & Lace and Head of Zeus for the ARC to read and review, I look forward to reading more from this author.

  4. I put my hand up to read this book because I’ve enjoyed age gap friendship stories in the past, and this was no exception! I loved the story of Tom and Maggie as friends, and as individuals! It’s a heartwarming story and feels like a warm hug, but entertaining along the way. It’s definitely one I’ll recommend! Thanks to Beauty and Lace for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

  5. The Library is a gorgeous uplifting book about a beautiful friendship between a young boy and an elderly lady. It carries the themes of friendship, bullying, family dynamics and alcoholism.
    it is well written and engaging.
    It was my first read of a novel by Bella Osborne, and am now looking for her other novels to read.

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