blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Library – Bella Osborne

Two lonely bookworms. An unexpected friendship. A library that needs their help

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.

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).

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My thoughts: once upon a time I was a librarian, I practically lived in various libraries growing up so it made sense. I love libraries, I love the random hodge podge of books and the way they smell and the people who work in them (all of whom are incredibly interesting) and the fact that it’s all free. That you can read any book you like and never have to worry about whether you can afford it is wonderful. Whole worlds live in libraries.

Terry Pratchett wrote that book shops are genteel black holes that know how to read – so are most libraries. Even the small ones, like the one in this book.

Sadly the threatened closure of libraries is all too real, we live in a world now that doesn’t really value them properly. It’s not just a quiet place full of aging hardbacks; they’re vital and alive.

This book celebrates all of these uniquely wonderful places and brings Tom and Maggie together – a lonely teenage boy and an equally friendless old woman. They both have deep sadness inside them, and when they become friends, they start to heal. The fight to save their library, to protect what makes it special, helps them too. Both make new friends, and come out of their shells.

Tom’s unhappy home life starts to mend as Maggie encourages him to speak to his dad and gives him a place to stay when home isn’t safe anymore. In turn Tom helps Maggie face up to her past and confront the mistakes she made. There’s also lambs and puppies being born and a lot of cake. It’s a warm, gentle and hopeful book, people can change and can grow. They just need some love. Much like libraries.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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