Cover Image: The Littlest Library

The Littlest Library

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Member Reviews

I’ve struggled to think of a word to describe this book other than ‘beautiful’. 

The main character, Jess, is such a wonderful human and without realising is quite spontaneous. 

All of the characters in this book were well written and the story was great. 

Read it! 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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The Littlest Library follows Jess Metcalf who loses her nana, Mimi and her job as a librarian in Bourton-on-the-Marsh within months of each other. She decides to buy a cottage with a red telephone box outside in another village which she turns into a small library, using her gran's books. The reader lives in the pockets of Jess as she settles into her new home, Ivy Cottage in Middlemass in the West Country.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Littlest Library and found it very appealing. Protagonist Jess is a warm character and the story was wonderfully uplifting, keeping me turning the pages. Jess was supported by a good bunch and I especially liked her close friend, Hannah. The setting of Middlemass sounded glorious and I could easily picture the duck pond, the snowdrops, daffodils and everything Poppy Alexander whipped up with her great writing in my mind. The character development of Jess was gradual but realistic as she begins to enjoy being a huge part of her new community after setting up the little library. She makes new friends and is integral to the positive changes for some of the villagers. Very highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Orion Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This was the read I didnt know I needed.
Our main character is looking for a fresh start after the loss of her grandmother. After a whirlwind house sale and a rushed house purchase our main character finds herself thrust into a small tight knit village, living in a bat infested run down cottage. There were some beautiful emotional moments as well as some laugh out loud moments.
With a found family feel and gorgeous setting this was a great heartfelt romance.
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I love reading Poppy's books and this was no exception. Jess is at a turning piont in her life in more ways than one. Taking an unfamiliar road leads her, not only to a different area but a completely different avenue than what she expected.

If you love books like Jess and relish a romance then this is a book to settle down with.
A very enjoyable read from a truly reliable author. Thanks Poppy!
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A joyful, heart-warming read about books, family, and love.

This was a very sweet, uplifting story that focuses on the importance of books and the power they can have over relationships. I adored Jess' relationship with her Grandmother and the messages that Mimi leaves in her books are a brilliant addition to the story. I wasn't overly gripped by this story, however it was still very enjoyable. Overall, a great read.
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My thanks to NetGalley and a Orion Publishing Group for a copy of “ The LittlestLibrary” for an honest review.

Due to my occupation any book with library or books in the title is an instant draw for me..
This was a lovely, warm and immersive read, full of delightful characters, placed in a beautiful setting.
I happily escaped into this , and found it the perfect book for a relaxing read in the garden.
I would definitely recommend this to others.
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This was a charming and heartwarming read. It was really easy going  and a page turner. When Jess Metcalf loses her librarians job and her beloved Grandmother in one foul swoop she decides to relocate to a quaint country village  to start again . She buys a charming little cottage and ends up in possession of an old red telephone box on her property . 
      She has been brought up to treasure books by her Grandmother , who was her guardian after the death of her parents.  She decides to donate the books from her Grandmothers house to be housed in the telephone box as a community library. This becomes the hub of the local community as the residents all come together in a united front to save the little library when it is put in jeopardy . 
     This was such a lovely and uplifting read with beautiful scenery and a wide range of  fun and likeable characters.  There's romance and friendship and you feel drawn into the storyline.  I recommend this book to readers who enjoy Heidi Swain and Jaime Adnams .
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Jess is devastated at the loss of Mimi her Grandmother and as she was her only family and losing her safe job at the local library makes her reevaluate her life.

She gets into her little Mini and heads to the west country. She finds herself in a little village called Middlemas and makes a very out of character decision and buys a cottage. Jess has always played safe with her life will this be a new beginning or a huge mistake.

When she moves to the village she finds that she has some unexpected tenants in the cottage and also an old telephone box that she is responsible for with the parish council. For many years she has had boxes of books that belonged to Mimi and she had said that one day that Jess would know what to do with them. So they decide to make a book swap/ library in the phone box. She starts to get to know the villagers and some like Diana gets on with straight away and others like Aidan are harder to warm to. She settles in but there is a problem she needs a job and librarian jobs are few and far between in Middlemas so she starts looking further afield but will this mean her leaving the lovely village.

Working in a library I was drawn to the book by Jess’s occupation and I do love a good village tale too so this was perfect. Charming, soothing and picturesque,the little village of Middlemass has it’s share of characters and drama too. It is funny and warm and I really enjoyed getting to know everyone and it really was a very welcome change to my usual crime books. It is a great story about finding a new place in the world when it feels like you have lost everything. Gentle and cosy like a big hug in a book. I loved it!

4 stars ****
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The protagonist of the novel is Jess Metcalf, a young woman in her thirties. She is likable and realistic, a woman everyone can relate to. Jess has decided it is time to move on. After the death of her grandmother Mimi, who has raised her after the death of her parents, and after losing her job at the library, Jess really needs a fresh start and a car drive leads her to the village of Middlemass where she impulsively buys a house with a red telephone box outside. Jess quickly falls in the small community, making new friends, attending the local council meetings, and setting up the red telephone box as a library. The only thing spoiling a bit her new life is her arrogant and moody new neighbour Aidan. Will Jess and Aidan ever get along? And will she find a job that will allow her to remain in Middlemas?

The Littlest Library is an engaging, easy, and fun read. The characters are easy to like and well-drawn. I loved the beautiful and vivid descriptions of the scenery (that made it easy for me to imagine the village of Middlemass in my head) and of the food (that made my mouth water).

If you are looking for romance, friendship, and family, then The Littlest Library is the right read for you. You will also find a strong feeling of community and belonging and themes of grief and new beginnings.

Poppy Alexander is an author I always enjoy reading and The Littlest Library is definitely one of her must-read! Highly recommended!
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After losing her grandmother, Jess finds herself completely upending her life and moving to a small village where the house she buys has an old phone box out the front and the village residents cannot wait to see what Jess has planned for it. 
After some soul-searching, Jess decides to put her grandmother’s old books in the phone box and turn it into The Littlest Library. But not everyone in the village is pleased and her sudden relocation is not without its difficulties as she must get a job soon in order to pay her bills. 
Oh, this was the most wonderful story! It was so warm-hearted and nurturing that I did not want it to end.
I adored the notion that there was a book for everyone in the Littlest Library and I loved how the whole village seemed to bond over their love of reading and books, no matter how young or old.
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The Littlest Library is a book which I enjoyed that much, it dragged me up and out of my reading slump. I love a good romantic comedy with a dash of heart felt moments, and this book is no exception.

Poppy Alexander is a fantastic author, her words created a beautiful setting and left me wishing I could live in a tiny village, in the Ivy Cottege. The characters are all wonderful and unique, and I lived for every interaction. I even felt myself welling up during each Mimi moment. 

I found The Littlest Library to be such a fun read, full of funny, thoughtful and poetic moments. I think the story line with Aiden was a fantastic extra, but isn't the main story line. It was mainly about a lost woman moving on from grief, and it was expressed brilliantly. 

I'm looking forward to Poppy's future books, and will share my review on my Instagram page next week! Thank you for my copy, I enjoyed every second.
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Being made an orphan at the age of four Jess is brought up by her wonderful grandmother -Mimi. They have a truly special bond. When Mimi dies and then Jess loses her job at the local library she is lost and unsure what to do next. Deciding to sell her family home and make a fresh start she escapes for a drive and takes a side road to avoid traffic, ending up in Middlemass. Hoping to get a cup of tea whilst waiting for the traffic to calm down, she instead ends up buying a run down cottage with an old fashioned red telephone box in the garden! She decides to use the boxes of books left to her by Mimi to transform the telephone box into a tiny library. This idea is a turning point for both her and the community. The books start to work their magic, bringing the community together and in turn helping to heal Jess herself.  A beautiful story which has been well written and is very enjoyable.
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Jess is content with her life, being a librarian and loving her job, living with her beloved grandma who looked after Jess her whole life after her parents died in an accident. Until Mimi dies too and Jess is absolutely alone. Moreover, she’s being made redundant. What now? Stumbling across a village and spotting a house for sale there, Jess makes probably the most spontaneous decision in her life and buys the cottage, together with the red telephone box outside it. She feels that filling it with Mimi’s beloved books is the right way forward. Will Jess be able to set in the village, with its close – knit community and grumpy neighbour Aidan?

The book introduces us to a group of lovely and colourful characters and it’s impossible not to like them. There are their back stories, just the perfect amount of them, brilliantly intertwined with Jess’s story, bringing all the characters alive and making them real. Jess herself was a lovely character and I loved the changes in her. At the beginning I was a little scared, I must admit, not sure if I will be able to get to like her as she was a bit, how shall I say it, maudlin perhaps, and it was absolutely understandable, she didn’t know what to do with her life after she was made redundant and her beloved grandmother died, but I am not a fan of mentioning those same facts in almost every single sentence. She hated change and she always expected the worse things to happen to her. But then, Jess was developing, growing and changing and she turned out to be a lovely, kind and caring person with a great sense of humour and I liked her very much.

The writing style was brilliant, so easy to follow and you immediately feel drawn to the story and at ease with the characters. It was also rich in descriptions that are vivid and that bring the places and people to life. Middlemass was one of the most grogeous fictional villages, somewhere deep in the English countryside, with close – knit community, where everyone knew everything about the others – brilliant, no? The author has so truly well captured the feeling of belonging, even if there were some cracks between the villagers – but it only made it all even more real and so human. 

It was a lovely read though I had a feeling that the many descriptions: of food, scenery, garden, and the mentions of Mimi in every second sentence, kept us away from the main plot and they slowed it down. I mean, they were vivid and beautiful, but I was like, come onnnnn, move on pretty please. For me it should have been a bit faster on the whole. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous, funny and poignant read, from start to finish. 

There is so much more to this story than meets the eye. Thanks to the explorations of community spirit, belonging, grief and hope there is so much more depth to it. The author writes about different kinds of relationship, digging deep into each of them, writing gentle and with understanding about love on different levels. It was a very comforting read, a hug in a book, so human and inviting, funny and poignant at the same time and it was a real joy to read it – highly recommended!
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This was a really heart warming and uplifting read, perfect for a cosy, rainy afternoon with a cup of tea!
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A heartwarming and sweet read, such a lovely story, it’s a book to read when you need a hug and some love. Great character community, I love it when I want to move to a place that doesn’t exist in reality (the characters etc anyway) A fantastic feel good read

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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This is a heart-warming story about community and taking chances. The Littlest Library is a wonderful book to pickup if you're in need of a warm drink and a hug.

Jess loses her grandmother and then her job as a librarian and she's simply lost. Then she takes a chance on a charming cottage in a sleepy village and her journey begins. At the center of it all is her love for books and, like many books about books, The Littlest Library highlights what a wonderful impact books can have on a community. And also what an impact a sense of community can have on an individual.

This was a charming read with the tiniest hint of romance and it's left me dreaming of a stay in the countryside!
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The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander had me sold the minute I saw the cover and title! I have always loved the pictures I see over social media up and down the country with little community book swap points in little bird boxes and post boxes and it is something I would love to do if I had a front garden! Having a book which storyline looked to centre around this topic was a first for me so I was looking forward to a fresh new and exciting storyline.
After the death of her dear Grandmother and the loss of her job as a librarian, Jess Metcalf has to make some drastic changes in her life. Needing to sell their home and find a new job it is by chance on a casual drive out she stumbles on a quaint little village and her new life soon begins on a new path but little did she know that with her new home comes the responsibility of an old phone box which could provide her with an opportunity to still share her love of books with the community.
Quite simply this was such a sweet, light hearted and uplifting read that is full of community spirit and new beginnings. Jess has lived her life so close to her Grandmother that she has not quite found her true self so to move to a new home and start a new life with no one around her is a daunting task but she has such a warming nature and of course a love of reading which gives her the tools to interact and make new friends,
There is a love interest weaved in around the storyline that although was predictable it wasn’t without its bumps along the way which kept the excitement flowing. The comings and goings of the local community as they borrowed their books was wonderful to see and insightful to see what went into the running of the little library too. 
My only little niggle was that I felt like the ending was a little rushed and ended abruptly but this could be because I was so invested in the storyline and characters, I just wasn’t ready to let them go. 
This was a delightful fast paced book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Perfect novel for book lovers who are looking for something light heart and heart warming that is not to challenging and easy to pick up and put down, perfect for this years staycation!
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After the demise of her beloved grandmother, life gets difficult for Jess Matcalf. Having been raised by her grandmother since a young age, she had cocooned herself in her grandmother's affection and their shared love of books. Now alone with grief, without a job, Jess moves out of her grandmother's house and lands herself a property on a scenic village by chance. The village once tightly knit, was starting to show loose threads. At first she is awestruck by the beauty and peace of the beautiful village but that wasn't all. Soon she is worried and doubtful, thinking if she will ever be able to make friends and add something to the village.

This book was a joyful read for me. The best thing about this book was how books had a direct impact on the lives of the village people. It healed woes covered under layers of time, it made them hopeful, it gave them voice and made friendships successful. Above all it connected them all. I loved the concept of The Littlest Library. The love between Jess and her grandmother, Mimi, was so touching and genuine. I loved how Mimi left little messages and notes in books and how they proved beneficial to Jess. Though it was little, the library opened up a multitude of possibilities for both Jess and the villagers. But I felt Jess and Aidan getting along was too sudden whereas I loved how Jess took her time to open up and make friends in the village.

Overall, this book is a refreshing and heartwarming story about books, life and family. I would definitely recommend this book.
Thank you Netgalley and Orion Publishing for this E-ARC.
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I’ve waited patiently for a new book from Poppy Alexander having adored her debut 25 Days in December back in 2018 and finally a new story has arrived. The Littlest Library didn’t disappoint in the slightest and it was just the most gorgeous read from start to finish. Yes, the premise for the book may have been familiar and I had read a book with similar themes last year but that didn’t matter at all as I soaked up every minute of this wonderful read and was gutted when I reached the end. 

Poppy Alexander has a lovely, relaxed writing style that draws you in from page one. You feel straight at ease and I could picture the little village of Middlesmass and its diverse cast of characters so clearly in my head. So much so that I wish it was real so I could move there to get away from everything and of course to utilise the little red telephone box that plays such a pivotal part in turning around the life of our main character Jess and the residents. That’s thanks to her kindness, caring and her willingness to bring about change and really that was all down to her grandmother Mimi. Although it doesn’t always come easily to Jess.

When we first meet Jess she has just been let go from her job as a librarian. It’s the only job that she has ever known and she questions why she wasn’t a bit more brave in her role and aimed a little higher for promotion and self development within it. But she has to push that aside as changes are afoot in her life. Her beloved grandmother, Mimi, has passed away. She has raised her ever since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was very young. 

Mimi was everything to Jess and now she feels alone and adrift. It has been a year of crushing losses but pastures new beckon whether she wishes them to or not. Her life so far has been boring, safe and predictable. She knows she needs to change things up a bit. Deep within her, she has she the drive and will power to make this happen especially as until now Mimi has always been by her side. But she is not at her best and she questions her ability to bring about these much needed changes.

A stark terror engulfs her as she has the deepest of fears when it comes to change and who could blame her given her devastating loss when she was so young. She feels that impending disaster always waits her around every corner so when she goes for a drive when viewings are occurring at Mimi’s house and stumbles across the village of Middlemass, and more so the neglected Ivy Cottage, little does she realise her life is about to alter. Will the addition of several boxes of books packed up by Mimi, which Jess read throughout her childhood and which meant so much to her, prove the catalyst for change or will she continue to run and evade happiness?

Middlemass as a setting was just picture postcard perfect. The most beautiful little village deep in the English countryside that you would see in a drama series and it’s one where everyone knows everyone’s business. But Middlemass similar to Jess is struggling too. The community spirit is not as evident as it once was and there has been many businesses that have closed down including the local post office. Something about the village and Ivy Cottage is calling Jess and before she knows it she has bought the cottage and sets about renovating it. An unfortunate incident where her car breaks down at a crossroads leads to her meeting enigmatic Aidan, whose grandfather once owned the cottage. 

Aidan and Jess from the first encounter really rub each other up the wrong way. Sparks fly between them and not initially in the romantic sense. He seems brusque and aloof as if he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Conversations between the pair are minimal and when Jess needs help with unwanted visitors in the cottage it’s like he is doing her a favour only because he was asked not because he wanted to. I thought deep down there had to have been something more going on with Aidan and we never really got deep within his heart and mind until much later in the book. As Jess forms a friendship with his daughter Maisie, it’s clear she wants to scratch beneath the surface and help Aidan but does he want help from a newcomer to the village and what actually can Jess do to help a situation that can be quite common amongst families today?

That’s Jess all round when she arrives in Middlemass. In the beginning, she doesn’t comprehend that perhaps something drew her to the village. That she is there for a reason and through helping others and reigniting that community spirit and sense of working together with one common purpose in mind that really in turn she was healing herself. She had an awful lot to come to terms with. She needed to reconcile with her past in order to enjoy and embrace what life was offering her in the present but was she ready to do that? Can Middlemass work its magic on her and can she do the same for the village? She never fully feels at ease within the village and it’s not because she wasn’t welcomed. Meeting Becky, a harassed mother of three, a friendship is struck up. I loved the way Becky’s story was explored and I’m sure many people will identify with it. The members of the parish council were a great bunch and Diana became almost like a confidant of Jess’ as they share many gins and try to put the world to rights.

But what of the library of the title? An old red telephone box just outside Ivy Cottage that has been used for less than welcome things recently divides the village on its future use. But Jess’ inspired by the collection of books boxed up by Mimi transforms and updates it and the littlest library is formed. I love love when books are featured within a book and all the titles mentioned that people start to borrow and which meant something to Jess start to work their magic. It becomes a focus for Jess, one that she didn’t realise she needed, and it helps her through her mourning of Mimi as important words are found written by her within the covers of the books. Through sharing her books and her life memories with the community this becomes Jess’ gift to them. It’s like a thank you for Middlemass taking her to their heart. Though renovating the cottage and running the library, is Jess daring to seek the happiness that she has feared to let in for so long believing disaster will only strike? If this is successful will she be willing to let in some love and romance too or is that just too far beyond the realms of possibility?

Alongside the main story of Jess, there were lots of little subplots involving the various residents of the village. I thought they all moulded in perfectly with the overall plot and never detracted from Jess and her worries but also the increasing ambition and confidence she was starting to feel with the success of the library. The others strands of the story were funny and heart warming and seeing Jess become more involved and herself not understanding just how much good she was doing. Well, I wanted to shake those doubts out of her. A lot of the time she was contemplating leaving the village especially if she couldn’t get work as her funds had almost run out. But she had done so much good for the village through little inspiring ways and of course the biggest of all the library, that to lose her would be detrimental to the village. I wanted her to lose those niggling feelings and come to comprehend that she had true worth and value. That she was an incredible asset to the village and one person in the village could see this. Don’t let her brilliant work become undone because she wasn’t willing to always take the risks needed. She could when she wanted to and she just needed to go with that feeling when it arose. As I was reading, I was fervently hoping that this would all change for her. 

The library intervenes in people’s lives in the most unexpected and positive ways and it becomes a catalyst for healing and reviving the community and tugs at Jess’ heartstrings. Jess finds new friends that bring comfort and cohesion and ones you could rely on in times of need. I really hoped that things would turn out ok for Jess but there was a few rocky patches to get through first.

The Littlest Library is a gem of a read and a book that reminded me just how much I love reading. With such a picturesque location, it’s a captivating read and has such dynamic brilliant characters. You’ll be rooting for a positive outcome for all involved. The books mentioned within that are borrowed from the library will also have you making a little list of books to read in the future. My only problem is now that I will have to wait again for a new book from Poppy Alexander and I hope the this will arrive be sooner rather than later.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I loved the setting and the characters were good value too. 
I enjoyed reading about Poppy's librarian experience and the author's views regarding children's reading was great to read. I found myself smiling many times when reading. 
What a lovely village Middlemass sounds, one I would love to live in, probably why I enjoyed this book so much.
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