From the publisher:
A heartwarming debut novel about a daydreamer who gives her town, and herself, an amazing gift: a lending library in her sunroom.
When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.
At first just a hobby, this lit lovers’ haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors—and attract an exciting new romance.
But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie’s secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do…
Dodie Fairisle, Do to her friends, is enjoying life in rural Connecticut until the library gets shut down for asbestos removal and other renovations. Devastated, this elementary school art teacher decides to turn her sunroom into a small lending library for the town, so they don’t have to drive 45 minutes to the next closest library. One of her regulars is Shep, a construction worker who is new to town. One minute they are exchanging glances, the next they a couple. Trouble is brewing when Shep finds out that Do wants to adopt a baby, and that she neglected to tell him. Shep’s not ready, and he doesn’t think Do is, either. She agonizes about the baby, her library, the financial toll it is taking on her, not to mention her abandonment issues from her father disappearing from her life when she was a young child, but her books bring her solace. Avid readers will identify with Dodie, but those looking for romance might want to look elsewhere.
Verdict: This debut novel shows some promise, and should appeal to librarians and book lovers everywhere. Readalikes include The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins and The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan.
I actually had to go back and reread parts of the beginning of the book because I felt like I missed something. I never saw how these two people fell in love. One minute they were exchanging glances, the next they were engaged. Sex is sort of implied, yet I found that confusing, too. Did they or didn’t they? Eventually, I figured out that they did. There were a lot of little issues with this book, chief of which was the main character’s name. Dodie is fine, but they almost always call her Do. Which when you are reading, looks suspiciously like the word DO. So I read it that way, then had to readjust my thinking.
This book was such a disappointment to me. I loved the premise so much, yet the implementation left a lot to be desired.
©Library Journal, 2020
4/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE LENDING LIBRARY by Aliza Fogelson. William Morrow (April 28, 2020). ISBN 978-0062909046. 304p.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 at 8:00 AM and is filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.