The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson
Paperback, 336 pages
Publication: August 31st 2021 by Berkley Books
Genre: Chick Lit, Books About Books, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
From Goodreads: June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way.
Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.
Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer's feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won't believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.
To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she's determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.
My Thoughts: Imagine that your whole world is being threatened to be taken from you. That is exactly what June Jones is feeling. The library that her mother worked at and that she now works at is possibly being closed. She tries to stay out of it but her heart steps in and she knows that she must step up and do what she can to help.
I liked most seeing June step up. She was a mousy librarian when the story started. As the story continues, she finds her voice, her strength, and uses them for the good of the library and the community. She finds that the visitors of the library see her as more than just a librarian, but as their friend also. The library has multiple meanings for each visitor and as the fight to save the library goes on each person shares their story. I loved hearing about the visitors, their need for the library, and how it affects their lives. It is true that a library is not just a place to get books to read, it is a place to make friends, a place to find warmth, a place to escape from their homes, and a place to be safe.
Freya Sampson did a great job of taking a diverse set of characters and pulling their lives together. Weaving their stories to make one larger picture that was beautiful. I loved seeing each character come into their own, seeing them come together for each other, and seeing a wonderful library become the center of a community.
**Thank you Tara O'Connor at Penguin Random House for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads
Meet Freya Sampson: Freya Sampson works in TV as an executive producer. Her credits include two documentary series for the BBC about the British Royal Family, and a number of factual and entertainment series.
She studied History at Cambridge University and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize.
She lives in London with her husband, two young children and an antisocial cat. The Last Library is her debut novel.