Summary and book reviews of The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

The Last Chance Library

by Freya Sampson

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson X
The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Aug 2021, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way.

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.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer's feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won't believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she's determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.

CHAPTER ONE
You can tell a lot about a person from the library books they borrow.

June liked to play a game when things were quiet at work. She'd pick a patron and make up their life story based on the books they read. Today she'd chosen a middle-aged lady who took out two Danielle Steel novels and The Rough Guide to Iceland. After some consideration, June decided that the woman was trapped in a loveless marriage, perhaps with a boorish, aggressive husband. She was planning to run away to Reykjav'k, where she'd fall in love with a rugged, bearded local. But just as she thought she'd found true happiness, her husband would track her down and announce-

"Well, that was a pile of shit."

June was snapped out of her daydream by Mrs. Bransworth, who was standing in front of the desk waving a book in her face. It was Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day.

"What a pointless load of rubbish. Masters and servants? Capitalist propaganda more like. I could write better than this."

Mrs. B came into the ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. At the start of the novel June prefers to be alone with her books rather than to interact with her neighbors. How do her feelings towards solitude evolve by the end of the novel?
  2. The library is the center of the community in the small village of Chalcot. What is the center of your community?
  3. Many of June's childhood memories center around specific books such as Matilda. Did you read any books as a child that shaped who you are today? Have you revisited them since?
  4. June's grief for her mother causes her to push friends away. What events and people in the book help her navigate the grief? How?
  5. June has certain books she reads and rereads to comfort herself in times of stress. Do you have books (or movies or TV shows) that you return to...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

This novel is a joy! June Jones is an unlikely but endearing heroine surrounded by a cast of charming, quirky characters. You'll root for them all, all the way through (Madeline M). 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 (Carolyn S). A quick one-day read that has left me smiling and just feeling so completely satisfied (Barbara C). I really enjoyed The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson, and I read it in one day (Elizabeth D)...continued

Full Review Members Only (559 words).

(Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While the simple prose is an initial roadblock, Sampson convincingly brings her characters to life, as well as the importance of their collective crusade to save the library. Readers will be touched by June's transformation.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A delightful exploration of personal growth, inner strength, and the importance of family, friends, and love.

Library Journal (starred review)
Fans of libraries and heartfelt, humorous women's fiction with a powerful message and a hint of romance won't want to miss this one! It's so good that readers may very well devour it in one sitting.

Author Blurb New York Times bestselling author Clare Pooley
A wonderfully warm and uplifting story of kindness, community, and love that made me laugh, cry, cheer.

Author Blurb USA Today bestselling author Colleen Oakley
The Last Chance Library is a heart-squeezing and charming story about grief, love and the power of community. An absolute delight." -

Author Blurb New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer
The Last Chance Library is absolutely irresistible! Curl up and indulge in Freya Sampson's charming novel about a shy librarian in a small town with a great cause. You'll have such a good time and you'll love the unexpected twist at the end!

Author Blurb Libby Hubscher, author of Meet Me in Paradise
Both spellbinding and tender, The Last Chance Library is a gorgeous love letter to books, a celebration of the characters that make a community, and an inspiring call to muster our courage and fight for the things that matter. Simply put, this book is sublime.

Reader Reviews

Widya Sari

The Last Chance Library Book Review
This is so very good book for the library's fans. You need to read it because it's very worth it.
Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews

Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - LOVED IT...A Tribute to Libraries
The beloved library can't be shut down. What will the people of Chalcot Library do without this meeting place and the books? June worked as a library assistant and was a very shy, sheltered person. Learning that the city was going to shut ...   Read More
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 ...   Read More
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 ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda by Roald Dahl In The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson, main character June is attached to certain favorite childhood books, including the young adult novel Matilda by acclaimed and bestselling author Roald Dahl, also known for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG. Matilda won the Children's Book Award shortly after its publication in 1988 and is today considered a classic of children's literature. Time magazine has listed it as one of the 100 top YA books of all time.

The novel follows Matilda Wormwood, a girl of extraordinary abilities whose dishonest and selfish parents fail to appreciate her. Like June, Matilda has a great love for books, but the rest of her family prefers television and cannot relate to her. Matilda also ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Last Chance Library, try these:

  • The Lost for Words Bookshop jacket

    The Lost for Words Bookshop

    by Stephanie Butland

    Published 2018

    About this book

    The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for all book lovers.

  • The Book Thief jacket

    The Book Thief

    by Markus Zusak

    Published 2007

    About this book

    More by this author

    A story about, among other things: A girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. Winner of the 2007 BookBrowse Ruby Award.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: My Monticello
    My Monticello
    by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
    In the incendiary opening story of My Monticello, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson's debut collection, a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wrong End of the Telescope
    The Wrong End of the Telescope
    by Rabih Alameddine
    Rabih Alameddine's The Wrong End of the Telescope follows Mina, a Lebanese American doctor who ...
  • Book Jacket: Lightning Strike
    Lightning Strike
    by William Kent Krueger
    It is the summer of 1963 in Tamarack County, Minnesota. Just outside the small town of Aurora, ...
  • Book Jacket: Skinship
    Skinship
    by Yoon Choi
    The fine thing about short stories in general is their way of following characters through ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin
A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Flesh & Blood
    by N. West Moss

    This beautifully written memoir offers insight, understanding, and joy.

Win This Book!
Win Sisters of the Great War

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

A powerful novel of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y A B Up T W T

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.