Read advance reader review of The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

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The Last Chance Library

by Freya Sampson

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson X
The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson
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  • Published:
    Aug 2021, 336 pages

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  • Julie B. (La Crescenta, CA)
    Oh, do read this book!
    Wonderful! Delightful! Often funny, characters you come to love.

    Especially for those who enjoy books about books! Oh, do read this book!

    "So, in answer to your question, June, no. I'm never scared when I'm fighting for something I know is right."
  • Catherine H. (NYC Librarian)
    An Uplifting Tale of Resilience
    Library assistant June Jones has always been painfully shy, and has become more withdrawn after the death of her mother, librarian Beverley Jones, eight years ago. Since that time, June has retreated into her world of books, venturing only as far as the Chalcot Library, her place of employment, and the Golden Dragon, her local Chinese restaurant. She is a creature of habit who re-reads her favorite classics and orders the same takeaway meal every Monday night. June has resigned herself to living a quiet existence without close friends or outside interests, having given up her dream of being a writer when her mother became gravely ill. Her entire life now revolves around her job at the library, where she performs her assigned tasks while doing her best to limit her interactions with the patrons. June's world is about to take a dramatic turn, however, when the Dunningshire Council announces its plan to close the Chalcot Library as part of its budget reductions.

    The library patrons are quick to denounce the Council's plans and organize petitions and protests to save their beloved local library, expecting June to support them in their actions. June is petrified at the thought of participating in any public activities, even though her job is threatened. Can she find it within herself to move beyond her comfort zone and stand up for what she believes in, at the risk of facing her vulnerabilities and connecting with like-minded souls?

    The Last Chance Library is a heartwarming tale of love and loss; resourcefulness and new beginnings; and opportunities for personal growth and reinvention. Freya Sampson has created a charming English village populated with an eclectic mix of characters who connect in ways that provide equal measures of light-hearted humor and drama as they interact with each other and rally around a common cause. The resilience of the human spirit is on full display as the ups and downs of these villagers comes vividly to life in the pages of this novel.

    That said, The Last Chance Library is also a tribute to books and libraries. It has numerous book references for bibliophiles to delight in; acknowledges the importance of library services beyond book lending; and underscores the library as the day-to-day heart of a community. It is a truly touching and uplifting read.
  • Barbara C. (Hamburg, NY)
    A Heartwarming Novel for Book Lovers
    A quick one day read that has left me smiling and just feeling so completely satisfied. If you love books and especially libraries, the story of June and a group of eccentric friends of the library will warm your heart. Freya Sampson does a marvelous job of capturing exactly how important libraries are to our communities. This feel good book is a bit predictable but that's okay as sometimes we just need to escape from the realities of modern day life. I want to thank BookBrowse and Penguin Random House for the ARC and a chance to read and review this novel that will be on sale August 31, 2021.
  • Sandra (TX)
    Fun Book
    I enjoyed this book. It was well written and a fun read. It showed the struggle of those who want to do the right thing, but are trapped by the situation so they have to find creative solutions to be able to help. I had fun watching June come out of her shell and learn to live and enjoy life instead of watching it pass her by.
  • Mary W. (Altadena, CA)
    Libraries Will Never Become Extinct
    What a wonderful feel great book. We hear that more and more communities find libraries are the last of the budget agenda. As a librarian who worked in a library for 36 years this book caught my interest immediately. Our library went through the same crisis as the Chalcot Library in a English Village. A library is more then shelves of books as this book helped the reader appreciate. A library can be many, many things to different people.

    Many references were made in abundance to books and characters Very entertaining and it made the protagonist June Jones a real and believable, knowledgeable librarian.

    But the book is also about the people of Chalcot who loved their library and were willing to give of themselves to save it from being closed. The ending was quite a surprise, but will not disappoint anyone who reads this title.
  • Kari J. (Green Valley, AZ)
    Got going - Couldn't put it down!
    The Last Chance Library was a movement for all my senses. I could see June at her reference desk, her boss in a back office, Stanley, always first in and last out, seated at 'his' computer, and the patrons that showed up almost daily creating heart-warming banter and bonds. I was able to create their voices and felt a true insider. June, an introvert, and the main character, had a very creative soul but led an extremely controlled and consistent life. Stuck in the past and scared to move forward, until, her library is threatened. This is a story of resurrection, through trial and error, fear and fantasy, and the realization that there is so much worth fighting for if you would just try putting your toe in the water - or how about going for a cannonball!

    I really loved this book. At times I laughed, I was frustrated, and relieved. I loved the characters and the lessons about judgement and how it is so limiting and harmful. Great, great read.
  • Catherine H. (Nashua, NH)
    A world made of books and hearts... a library
    I admit I finished the book few days ago, yet I don't want to let go of the Chalcot library, June, Mrs. B., Marjorie, Stanley and Alex, Vera & Leila and all the characters of "The Last Chance Library" and their fight to keep their library open, they all come to realize that a library is so much more than books, it's the heart of a community no matter how small.

    Read the book, you will have hard time let go the Chalcot library I promise!

Beyond the Book:
  Matilda by Roald Dahl

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