Book Review: The Last Chance Library

Libraries are like a net, there to catch those of us in danger of falling through the cracks.

Freya Sampson ~ The Last Chance Library


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.


When I was younger, a trip to the library was a special treat; we’d choose our books (maybe even an audiobook) and spend the rest of the day losing ourselves in a good book.

Not much has changed, except I don’t go to the library. I hold my hands up… I should do. I plan to when we move, because they are wonderful places. For children and adults.

The Last Chance Library looks at what a library really is. It’s not just about books. A library can provide shelter, community and support to individuals and families. It’s one of those things we perhaps don’t realise if we don’t need it. It’s also perhaps somewhere we don’t appreciate until it’s too late.

This book really is lovely and I read it in just a few hours. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, it still drew me in and made me cry. Yes. It made me cry.

June is lonely, but hides from the real world, choosing instead to spend her time with the characters of Austen, Dahl and Gibbons. Sampson references lots of other books within the chapters and it’s a nice touch. While no doubt many of us have used literature as a form of escapism, sometimes you have to face the real world.

The characters in this book all need the library for something. They’re from all sorts of backgrounds, but when the library faces closure, they come together and realise they’re not so different after all.

If you enjoyed The Authenticity Project then this one’s for you: predictable but sweet, it tugs on the heartstrings and makes you want to go and hug your local librarian.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I was provided with a copy of this book by Zaffre Books. All opinions my own.

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