What readers think of The Last Chance Library, plus links to write your own review.

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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
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Aug 2021, 336 pages

    Aug 2021, 336 pages


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There are currently 28 reader reviews for The Last Chance Library
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Lynn R. (Dixon, IL)

Support your library-go check out this book
Having worked in a small public library for 30 years I was delighted with the way the author captured the variety of people that a library serves through her characters. I have to believe that the author has worked in a library because Library Assistant June's job duties and relationships with library patrons was so realistic. The Friends of the Chalcot Library (FOCL) was a great way to develop the characters and Gayle's wedding fiasco was laugh-out-loud funny and a vehicle to develop the plot. I loved all of the book recommendations scattered throughout. Support your public library and go check this book out.
Joan N. (Evanston, IL)

A Delightful Read
June Jones is an assistant at Chalcot Library in a small English town. She sees everyone through her perspective of what books they check out and what literary characters they resemble. Although painfully shy, she speaks out when her library is threatened. A charming story, told with humor, that is at times predictable but in a heart-warming way. For everyone who loves books and libraries.
Susan M. (Red Wing, MN)

Library memories
When I was young, my mother would bring me and my siblings to the library every Saturday afternoon. She would settle us in the children's reading room while she did her errands. I remember those afternoons with great pleasure. As an adult I am a member of my local Friends of the Public Library to help support an asset to our community, therefore, drawn to this title. The story brought out, in detail, the many roles the library and the librarians play in the lives of the people who live in their town. It is both a heart-warming and poignant portrayal of a small-town library and its patrons. The characters are realistic and familiar, as well as a bit quirky. An enjoyable read.
Betty C. (Concord, CA)

It takes a village
You've heard that sometimes it takes a village. This time it just might take a community. I loved how this diverse cast of characters found a way to come together to support a cause they all believed in.
Janet O. (Beaverton, OR)

The Last Chance Library
Author Freya Sampson introduces the reader to a wide variety of interesting townspeople whose stories are compelling and together create a colorful and vibrant backdrop for the drama that unfolds in the English village of Chalcot. It is the local library, however, that takes center stage and captures our imagination and respect as it faces closure due to upcoming budget cuts. Through detailed, description, flashbacks to previous times and patrons' memories of the many ways the library has served them, one is transported to a setting that is familiar to all who have grown up with a library near-by. Efforts to petition, protest and convince the village council of the value of the library are enthusiastic and heartfelt even when not effective. This will be an enjoyable read for anyone who has fought to save a beloved institution and for anyone who can smell, feel and savor the ambience of a library. In remarks to the council, the assistant librarian says, "Libraries are places where everyone, rich or poor, wherever they come from in the world can feel safe. Where they can access information that will empower them...A mobile library might still provide books, but it can never be the heart of the community." Amen!
Carolyn S. (Kennesaw, GA)

The Last Chance Library
This book about a library closure in a small town in the UK has some very delightful characters that are so developed that you can almost see them. A very big story in a little town. Delightful!
Carolyn L., SC

The Last Chance Library
This was a rather charming book about a very shy twenty-eight-year-old library assistant in a small English village, whose life is upended when it is announced that the council is planning to shut down the library. June is a very sympathetic character, although there were times that I wanted to shake her for being such a doormat. However, she does develop some backbone, and becomes involved surreptitiously with the group of concerned patrons who are devoted to saving their library. There are many interesting characters, and reference to many familiar book titles, old and new. A real feel-good novel.
Elizabeth D. (Apple Valley, MN)

Sweet defense of public's libraries and the importance of community
I really enjoyed The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson, and I read it in one day.

I would recommend it to those who like village cozies, small towns, comfort reads, and those who are passionate about reading, libraries, and the importance of community. There's a hint of romance, though perhaps not enough to satisfy true genre fans. I think those who've felt they're too shy or that they haven't done much with their lives, especially compared to their peers, would like this book. There are a variety of age groups represented in the book, so I can see it appealing to those in their 20s on up.

June is a sweet character who I wanted to root for and who I wanted to instill with confidence in herself. On the other hand she wasn't so much of a sad sack that I thought, "you're right, what in earth would other people like about you?" Even when she didn't recognize the broader impact she had on her community, she still knew she was competent at her job and she liked doing it. And she'd be someone I'd enjoy having as a friend.

I liked some of the supporting characters more than others, but that's always the way with people. I will remember a few of them fondly, even into the future, I'm sure.

I especially enjoyed the epilogue (though it's not labeled as such). I was quite satisfied with the choices the author made.

While this book isn't groundbreaking or especially original in its story, it is nicely told and I appreciated the support for libraries. I'm sure the statistics cited by a character about the number of libraries that have closed in the UK over the last several years are accurate, which is a travesty. I think the book does a great job of demonstrating that a library is about so much more than it's book collection and circulation numbers.

I didn't want to overlook the cover art in my review. I love this cover. It's whimsical and charming, and it's definitely one I'd be attracted to in a bookstore or online.

Beyond the Book:
  Matilda by Roald Dahl

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