Another Stellar Book Set in a Library: Bella Osborne’s “The Library”

Reading saved me as a child, giving me a way to see the world outside the walls of my childhood home, offering me respite and escape from an often intolerable and hostile atmosphere. The public library in my small town in eastern Washington state became my sanctuary.

So it’s no surprise that I cherish books about books and libraries.

My most recent read, Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, propelled me to seek out even more books about libraries.

During that search, I discovered Bella Osborne’s The Library.

Osborne writes a lot of feel-good fiction that generally veers toward chick lit, not that there’s anything wrong with that, by no means. Despite this, I started reading The Library, but still with a few mental reservations.

To my surprise, I sank into the story immediately, just as I did with The Midnight Library.

The first sentence – “My name is Tom Harris and I am invisible.” – seemed to be a rather odd hook. But hook me it did. And so I got to know Tom, an awkward teenager who runs into Maggie, the other central character in the book. It turns out that Maggie is, shall we say, old enough to be Tom’s gran. The story unfolds somewhere in the UK, in a small village.

But Osborne’s telling of their meeting at the village library and the ensuing friendship between the young lad and the older female pensioner is anything but trite or sugary. No chick lit here.

I am not going to breathe another word about the trajectory of the story, but so taken was I with The Library‘s overarching themes of friendship and land ownership that I’ve sought out a few other uplifting books with farming in the mix.

I hear you, though.

“The farming part, that’s the food connection, right? I mean, after all, you do write about food, and it makes sense to fall for a book with farming overtones. Or does it?”

Yes, it does. There’s food, cooking, and eating in The Library, too. Roast chicken, for one. As well as the joy of seeing someone who’s hungry both eating and blooming because of the hospitality that comes with making food for others.

If you have a favorite book(s) about libraries or books, please share it(them) in the Comments section.

I look forward to hearing from you.





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