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THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY by Freya Sampson Kirkus Star


by Freya Sampson

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-20137-4
Publisher: Berkley

Eight years after her mother passed away, a young Englishwoman who's been living comfortably in the small routines of her solo life faces the closure of her beloved local library.

Without her realizing it, 28-year-old June Jones has spent almost a decade of her life without changing. She works as a library assistant in the tiny village of Chalcot, lives amid the ornaments and books and mismatched furniture in the house where she grew up, and spends her evenings and weekends with her old friends—that is, books. June is quiet, shy, and happy. She delights in helping the patrons who spend their days with her: Jackson Fletcher, the home-schooled 8-year-old eagerly seeking new books to read; Stanley Phelps, the dapper, tweed-suited elderly man who spends his days in the library; Vera Cox, the constantly complaining 80-year-old; Chantal, the teenager seeking a quiet space to do her school work; and others. The library is the heart of the community and the heart of June’s days and, indeed, her life since she began going there with her mother when she was young. But the council is making cuts, and six libraries are up for closure. The regulars, and the community as a whole, band together to try to save the library. Among them is Alex Chen, a kind, bookish solicitor from London who's returned to work at his family's takeaway as his father heals from hip surgery, and who befriends June. Author Sampson has created a gem of a book populated by vivid personalities and a story that weaves together heroes and villains, love and loss, mourning and growth as it follows June and the Chalcot community as they seek to save their library—which offers so much more than books.

A delightful exploration of personal growth, inner strength, and the importance of family, friends, and love.