*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: An uplifting story about fresh starts, new beginnings and the power of stories, from the bestselling author of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!
When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.
It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.
Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?
But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?
This is such a light, easy, feel-good read and it features plenty of book mentions (as Elodie’s double life is in publishing and in a library respectively), so is ideal for book worms!
Not that the story is actually all about books though; instead it is about people – the people who make up a community and those who fall through the cracks – and about giving people a chance instead of judging based on gossip, rumours and appearances. In other words, the phrase ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ could have been written to apply specifically to this plot and these characters!
I felt a bond with the main character, Elodie, as her obsessive love of reading felt very familiar to me and I vehemently agreed with her sentiments about the importance of access to books for all. I did find her a little bit of a Mary-Sue character at times though, as she was so good and calm and kind all the time and seemed to have not a single fault – all of her problems were caused by other people (especially her family… grrrrrr!).
The whole idea of human books was a really novel one to me and I think it is an absolutely fantastic one and really gave the story its heart and emotional impact – the ‘books’ were all so lovely and so brave to put themselves out there to be re-judged like that. This aspect of the story was so moving and memorable that I did a bit of Googling and found out that this is something that you can actually do in real life! (Check out The Human Library if, like me, you are interested in finding out more about this.)
If you enjoy heartwarming stories about found family, saving a community hub, and opening up some closed minds, then this is a lovely, uplifting read. It might even make you look at the people all around you with new, kinder eyes.
What will a town without books look like? Where will those who seek comfort in reading go? What about those who find joy in walking along the colourful racks in search of a fictional friend? Job applications are open for the position of head librarian. The successful candidate will have a monumental task on their hands to save Willow Grove library.– Rebecca Raisin, Elodie’s Library of Second Chances
About the author
Rebecca Raisin writes heartwarming romance from her home in sunny Perth, Australia. Her heroines tend to be on the quirky side and her books are usually set in exotic locations so her readers can armchair travel any day of the week. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous heroes who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true, once in a lifetime love. Her bestselling novel Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has been optioned for film with MRC studios and Frolic Media.
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!