Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie.
Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that's what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don't have to define her future.
They each set out to prove that the library isn't just about books – it's the heart of their community.
Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.
This is an uncorrected proof copy.
Available on NetGalley
Maggie is in her 70’s living alone on her small farm with very little company apart from her farm animals and weekly book club at her local library. Tom is 16, a lonely and invisible soul whose mom died when he was 8. His father works night shifts and both have retracted into their own worlds. Tom into his Xbox and his father into an alcoholic haze. When the two meet in the library one day, they slowly start to develop a deep and fulfilling friendship that feeds a gap in both of them. They come together when Tom’s father reaches a scary point and then when the library’s existence is threatened. This is such a beautiful book, while I was reading it, I could just imagine this as a thoughtful and gorgeous film starring a Maggie Smith type character 🎥 It’s a firm recommendation from me ❤️📚🐑
Tom doesn't want to be noticed and wants to go to university but his father wants him to get a job. He goes to the local library where he can be out of the way. Maggie is on her own and goes to the book club at the library. They meet and both their lives are changed
What a delightful read this was. The depiction of Tom’s father was only a bit too real. My one complaint would be Christine the librarian who basically did nothing to help, out of fear. How disappointing. Enjoyed reading about everyone else in the small town and surrounding. Would love to read more about the library patrons.
The story of teenager Tom and pensioner Maggie who unite in their quest to save the local library from closure. What develops is an unlikely friendship between two lonely people and how they help each other through turbulent times. A lovely heartwarming story which was a delightful entertaining read.
What a breath of fresh air this book is. Well written totally engaging throughout. Tom lonely and grieving decides to go to the library there he meets lonely Maggie a friendship blooms after Tom trys to save her from a mugger, but gets punched for his troubles. Tom's homelife isn't the best, Dad Paul is struggling with the loss of his wife, money troubles and the dreaded drink push Tom to the limit. A can not recommend this book enough it was a really good read.
This book is AMAZING!!!! Probably one of my favourite books this year. I loved how 2 generations came together to save their library, and I’d be lying If I said that I didn’t cry……lots!!! It’s such a moving story which reminded me of The Lido by Libby Page. I can’t gush about this book enough!! It was incredible
A gentle story, deep issues, humor and characters to love….all centered around a library and farm life. What’s not to love? No shocking twists…just a thoroughly enjoyable, multilayered feel-good read.
This is a story of Tom, the teenager, and Maggie, the mature lady, who meet via the local library. Each of them have holes in the lives which the other fills for them in the best way. There are ups and downs, and the book touches on a number of sensitive topics along the way. I really warmed to the main characters and enjoyed seeing how their relationship unfolded. I felt the highs and the lows with them, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Each time I came to put the book down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it It’s a great read for any time of the year and I fully recommend Copy provided by Aria & Aries and Netgalley.
I’m a sucker for any type of book that also has books on the cover and is called something that is bookish related. I almost always buy it and read it. No matter the content. Luckily for me, this book was great and witty and just everything a book lover would want in a book-related book. I throughly enjoyed it. Now I just need a physical copy of it for my collection.
As a librarian, I always look for and read books about books or libraries. I loved this book and would highly recommend to anyone who feels the same about these types of books.
I loved this book. The development of the relationship between Tom and Maggie is just so lovely and well written, it's impossible for you not to get drawn in to cheering on their progress. It's a very timely story considering how many people are suffering from loneliness to an even greater extent due to the impact of the pandemic and a reminder not to judge a book by its cover, as the most unlikely candidates, however old or teenage, have something to offer. This may have been a departure from the author's usual writing, but I loved it as much, if not more, than her other titles. Also as someone who works in a library I'd like to thank the author for her insightful observations that a library isn't "just books" and highlighting the positive social impact a library can have on the community. Highly recommend.
The Library is the heart-warming story of the unlikely friendship that forms between an older woman and a teenage boy. Each is wrestling with issues in their personal life and their local library because the site of their budding friendship and growth in maturity. This book will transport you to modern day England, where real life is happening to likable characters. Real people have real problems and this book delves into realistic relationships. I was happy that this book explored real life difficulties and topics you don't often find in light fiction. However, it did not romanticize the difficulties or make them seem cartoonish. This was an accurate depiction of life progressing right before your eyes. I thought the character development in this book was great. It helped that this book had a happy ending. It could easily have gone down several paths that would be downers, but ended on a positive, uplifting note. There was redemption within the story. I really appreciated that. Several times, this book brought me to tears. I found it very touching and the perfect book to introduce to your local book club. I highly recommend this book! Thank you to NetGalley and Aria for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
What a joyful, heartwarming book! I read this in one sitting as I was fully invested in Tom and Maggie’s story and their unlikely friendship. Although this book deals with some difficult subjects such as alcoholism, it is not difficult to read - the subjects are dealt with in way that acknowledges the illness with understanding and hope. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Bella Osbourne is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and although this is a slightly different genre for her, it is still recognisable as her writing, full of believable and fully developed characters. I loved it!
This is a bit of a departure from Bella Osborne's usual books. Not a romcom but a study of different relationships between a teenage boy and his father, and the same teenage boy and an elderly lady he befriends when he assists her after she is mugged. The community are forced into action when the local council intend to close the village library. Secrets are revealed and discoveries made which change everything.
What a delightful read. Fresh, original with a host of interesting and well thought out characters. There are some lovely twists and turns in the plot that I didn't see coming. Although its a heart warming read, it also touches on several issues. I couldn't recommend this too highly.
This is the third book I have read by Bella Osborne & all three have been magnificent. I love reading books about books & bookworms. Absolutely fab!
Thank you Aria & Aries and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! The Library by Bella Osborne is a heartwarming tale about two bookworms from different generations who get to know each other through the power of books. Tom is a shy high schooler who hates being the center of attention at school, and he sees the library as a source of escape. Maggie is an old but shrewd woman who comes to the library for her weekly book club, the only time she gets out of her house. After the two initially notice each other in a library, they don't hit it off right away, but they eventually develop an unexpected friendship. I've always been a fan of libraries and I fully believe in the power of books to bring people together, so when I read the description of this book, I knew that I needed to add this book to my TBR list right away. I was so excited to read on about how these two very different people eventually become friends. The book alternates perspectives between Tom and Maggie. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1, which is from Tom's perspective: "My name is Tom Harris and I am invisible. Not actually invisible - that would make me interesting and I'm not. I'm the person others find easy to forget. The one who is lost in the crowd. To be honest it suits me to be invisible. I hate it when I get noticed and I'm thrown into the spotlight, I'd rather be lost in the white noise of life. My neck goes red and blotchy at all sorts of unhelpful moments, like if a teacher asks me a question." And here is an excerpt from Chapter 2, which is from Maggie's perspective: "Maggie hadn't enjoyed this week's book club read. She was getting sick of psychological thrillers that told you you'd never see the big twist coming when invariably she could spot it like a pink striped cow in a field of sheep. She also found some of the stories played on her mind, which wasn't good for a seventy-two-year-old living on her own. Not that living alone bothered her; it didn't, She'd been on her own for almost ten years. Maggie liked her own company and her own space but she forced herself to make the trip into the village every week. Without it she would likely not see or speak to anyone unless the postman had something she needed to sign for..." As you can see from the excerpts, the book is humorous and witty. I had a wonderful reading this book in between two darker, more thrilling reads, and this was just the light-hearted comedy that I was looking for. It's definitely a good idea to read books from different genres once in a while. I was definitely invested in both characters, but I found myself enjoying the chapters from Maggie's perspective more. There's something about her dry humor that I found very fun. The author did add in a plot about Tom and Maggie teaming up to save their library from closing, but to be honest, I was already invested in the book just from reading about their developing friendship. If you're intrigued by the excerpts above, or if you're a fan of heartwarming books about libraries, then I highly recommend you check out this book when it comes out in September!
I love authors who step out of their comfort zone. I have been reading Bella Osbourne for quite some time now and this is the first time she has stepped out to write a young adult book. But I think it was written beautifully. Full of Bella's whit and humour and filled with warmth. I loved it.
A great read. Tom and Maggie become unlikely friends, having met at the library. They are trying to help save their local library, along with everything else that is happening in their lives.
A lovely read so well written a book of a surprise it friendship. I started reading and was drawn right in this book is charming warm will be recommending.#netgalley #The Library
went into ‘The Library’ expecting a cute story about an inter generational friendship with a mutual love of books. I was not expecting a heart wrenching story about a young boy with trouble at home, and a lonely pensioner who come together when they both needed each other the most. The main characters, Tom and Maggie, are both keeping secrets from themselves and the world. These secrets lie at the heart of the story, despite them being at such different stages of life, they are both afraid to confront what is right in front of them. Tom and Maggie are existing in their lives, not really ‘living’, simply waking up and living the routine they are accustom too through their circumstances. Maggie attends book club at the library every Saturday, as a means of getting out and having social interaction. Tom never goes to the library, until a row with his dad forces him there. Maggie is fascinated by the young boy who becomes hooked on romance novels (but won’t admit it), and Tom is drawn to the warmth and stable presence Maggie provides. I don’t want to spoil the story, as I think it’s so worth reading. But Bella Osborne has crafted a story here that explores important themes such as loneliness, bereavement, alcoholism, bullying, community, and the importance of nature, that manages to weave these messages through age groups, gender, and circumstance, to behold a message that transpires to effect everyone. This was an emotional read, that I think almost anyone could relate to in someway, as Osborne has created a story that can impact everyone.
Maggie and Tom one day meet in a village library. Pensioner and teenager, both with many problems, yet they become close friends and start to enjoy their till now unhappy lives. And when authorities try to close the library, they start to fight for the future of the heart of their community. Tom and Maggie are so adorable, the narrative more than fluid, the novel is really heartwarming and joy to read. Another beautiful novel by Bella Osborne. Perfect for different generations, full of hope, courage, wisdom, humour and above all - love. Highly recommended.
I absolutely loved The Library and I cannot recommend this book enough, I instantly fell in love with Maggie and Tom and the lovely friendship they formed, I felt like I had known them for years, an absolute wonderful read.
'The Library' by Bella Osborne is a gorgeous treat of a read. The main characters, Tom and Maggie, are engaging and realistic and I cared deeply about them both. Tom and Maggie both have stories that tug at your heartstrings and secrets that slowly emerge. I loved that they were so different in age and yet they were able to become friends and to find comfort in each other. Along with their individual stories, there is the story of the village library – where they've both found friendship and solace – and how the threat of its closure distresses them and the community. I also enjoyed how Bella Osborne brought the theme of nature into the novel and how healing it can be to get outside and spend time with animals and/or working the land. Serious issues are touched on in this story, as themes such as loneliness, alcoholism and the debilitating effects of ageing are explored, and at times I became quite emotional when reading, but there were also scenes that made me laugh out loud. Bella Osborne has a magical way with words and 'The Library' is a wonderful 5 star read that will appeal to readers of all ages.
What an amazing book, the characters were so we'll developed and the story was fantastic. I went into it expecting it to be a cute wee read and as much as it is it really tackles some heavy subjects such as loneliness, grief and addiction issues and it does so brilliantly. I was so emotionally invested in these characters and the little town in which the story was set. Fantastic book and a perfect ending for me.
I loved this story not only is it heartwarming., filled with hope, understanding and eventually love but it brings to the surface how no matter what your age, friendships can happen. Tom has a lot on his shoulders not only school, revision and exams but only having his dad around who finds his own escape unfortunately in a bottle. To Maggie a spritely older lady who’s one highlight of the week is the library, that is until she meets Tom. Simply wonderful
"The Library" by Bella Osborne is an emotional read that highlights the struggles of both the older and younger generation while maintaining a light-hearted narrative tone. This novel shows how the unlikeliest of people can become close friends and the toughest of situations can be overcome if one has the motivation and support of others. Tom and Maggie are brought together by the unlikeliest of events: to save their local library from being shut down. Due to a rough home life and an inability to speak to the girl he likes, Tom finds shelter at the local library among romance novels. Maggie turns to the library as a means of sprucing up her lonely days, but grows attached when she meets Tom and finds a companionship with him. Tom's not only a relatable character but he's likeable, too. There are hilarious moments of seeing him flustered and anxious around the girl he likes and having to do some less-than-ideal jobs for Maggie on her farm. These are scenes that result in mutual laughter, feelings of embarrassment, and cringe-worthy "oh, no" moments. He comes from a rough home life where the circumstances create a not-so-optimistic future for him. Yet, it's easy to admire Tom and the way he handles his home life with maturity (though there are times when his teenage attude rears its head), and works to create a better environment for himself. Maggie is an absolute fiery delight whose wit and not-so-elderly attitidue will charm readers right from the beginning. She radiates this bright light throughout the entire story with her take-action attitude and her sassy personality. The characters in the story are either annoyed by her antics and outspokenness or their drawn to her because of it. From the start, Maggie has this spark that burns the brightest in this novel. She's got problems of her own, which aren't clear from the start. It seems as though she's lonely, living by herself in her retirement, but the end reveals there's more going on than what meets the eye. These characters are what makes the story. They're a complicated mess with dark histories and unfortunate situations, but they try to make the most of them. Osborne weaves a tale that is tragic and heartbreaking but uplifting and humorous as well. Her vivd prose is exceptional in its ability to capture the brilliant details of scenery and the subtle shifts of her characters as they develop and grow throughout the story. Keep a lookout for this novel when it becomes available on its expected publication date September 2nd, 2021. Thank you to Netgalley and Aria & Aries for providing me with a free e-arc of this novel and giving me the opportunity to share my honest opinion in this review.
What more can I say other than I LOVED it?! The Library by (the always lovely) Bella Osborne is truly something very special. With a move away from her normal type of work, Bella hasn’t given us the light hearted romance than fans know and love. Whilst still written with her undoubtable skill and sensitivity, she uses this story to tackle more serious, hard hitting topics. A wonderful cast of characters, of different backgrounds, ages etc but they are all flawed and with their own issues. They have been carefully written, relationships have been delicately nurtured so to engage the reader, such as the relationship between Tom and Maggie. Their bond and connection started so small, with a simple act but grew into something life changing. When a common cause unites members of the community you quickly see how bonds grow and how those bonds can affect a person in many ways. They are trying to save the community library but through doing so they are also saving themselves. I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t want to put it down, and once I got to the end it stayed with me long after turning that last page. A charming, heartfelt story that I will recommend to all
I loved it. Don’t normally like books that move between two characters but it worked well. Gosh Maggie was a strong character . You can not imagine being that lonely. The library saved Tom and Maggie and Tom’s father. We need library’s . I was so glad Tom began to study . His father was so short sighted re exams. Saving the library was so important to them all. . I loved the birth of the lambs and how Tom helped..Food is so important and Maggie showed Tom so much love with it. The ending was ace. A must read
A must read for any bookworm. It’s full of warmth, bookishness and such an addictive story. Loved it!
I absolutely loved this book. Heart-warming with genuine characters, the plot pulled me in and I was rooting for the library every step of the way. A great tonic for the times and highly recommended!
This is a fabulous story! I adored it! "A chance encounter at the library had changed so many things." A library is warm, cozy and has a distinct smell that as an adult I still remember from my own childhood. It is wonderful and comforting. This novel brings an unusual friendship between two very different people. One is in her seventies, the other is a teen. Both need a friend and some love. Who knew that books, and an old library would give them something so special with so many new memories and hopes! A heartwarming journey for Tom and Maggie! Well done!
For some reason I didn't have high expectations when I started reading this. It ended up being charming and the relationship between Tom and Maggie is very sweet. There are some deeper issues here like alcoholism. It's a very clean read if you're looking for something of that nature (I don't think kissing even happens). Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you so much for sending me a digital copy of Bella Osborne’s latest work, which I have now finished reading. Such a heart-warming and thought provoking novel! The Library is a touching tale of true friendship, overcoming adversity...and the genuine joy books can bring to our lives.
This really was a good read, between two characters of different ages and how they communicate. Loved the fact it’s based at a library.
WOW! This book is definitely worthy of more than the alloted 5*rating in my opinion. I absolutely adored this book and couldn't put it down or read it fast enough. The story is told in alternate chapters of the main characters, Tom a teenager trying find his place in the world and Maggie, an older lady who is definitely not your average granny type. A chance encounter leads Tom and Maggie to go on to form an unlikely friendship that eventually helps them both to heal their hidden wounds. This story is written so beautifully, with warmth, depth and compassion, humour and authenticity. I was so engrossed with this story, I was totally gutted it had to end. I heartily recommend reading this book.
This is definitely a different type of book from the other Bella Osborne books I have read. The story was not a light hearted romance book. It reminded me quite a bit of the work by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The story deals with serious issues and real-life flawed characters that will weave their way into the reader's heart and find a place to stay. This emotional story was written expertly by Ms. Osborne. She rose to a new high level of artistry in creating this amazing world. I love to read books with characters of many ages, especially if a older character (over 70 years old) is included as a main focus. That is the case with this story, as Maggie, 72 years and Tom, a teenager meet and develop a very special friendship that both of them need badly. I enjoyed this book so very much! I hope by writing my review others will chose to read it also. I want to thank NetGalley and Aria & Aries for giving me the pleasure of reading the advance reader copy, with no obligation to write a review. My review is written freely as a hobby, and is totally my own opinion, not influenced by receiving the ARC.
4.8/5🌟: This book follows Tom (young invisible teen) and Maggie (more than a sweet old lady) as they meet in the village library and then become unlikely but fast friends. Now they must band together to fight for the place that brought them closer in the first place before it's taken down forever. And I absolutely adored this book, as it was both a quiet contemporary and a novel that deals with grief, alcoholism, and eventual act of forgiveness. Now I'm usually iffy on stories with multiple povs because I find myself like one over the other(s) and then getting annoyed when they switched, but this story perfectly balances the story and blends them effortlessly. (Personally) I was a little more invested into Tom at first, but I quickly grew to love Maggie and their friendship was so wholesome. I did find the dad a bit unbearable at times (a little John Wincester-ish for those who know) but seeing Tom's relationship with him develop was beautifully done. Also the love side plot didn't really go anywhere but I personally, didn't need a love plot because I thought the story was strong on it's own but if you're going to include, then you might need to make go somewhere. It felt a little bit pointless. Otherwise, I loved the story as I devoured it in one day. It provided wonderful insights and I definitely need to go pick up a copy when it comes out. [A BIT OF A SPOILER BUT NOT REALLY, READ AT OWN RISK} The one thing that was a little bit iffy about the book was Farah. She's the potential love interest for Tom but then never really developed this in the book. They really hang out once in the book and the rest is just inferred. I also didn't like that there is moment where Tom tells her that another boy is jerk and she deserved better. She leaves in a huff and ignores him for WEEKS. Later, it's revealed that she wasn't with the jerk at all but tutoring him because her mom asked her too and she had to get out it because he was annoying. So she ignored him for what? it made no sense and it pissed me off so minus .2 invisible points for that. ---My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.----
I absolutely loved this book which tells the tale of 16 year old Tom and 72 year old Maggie who meet at their local library and become unlikely friends. I loved the way the chapters alternated between Tom and Maggie’s points of view. I really felt for Tom with his difficult home life. I couldn’t put this down and read it in two sittings! I definitely want to read more by this author on the strength of this book.
This was a wonderful book. The dynamic between Tom and Maggie is so wonderful. I love a good story of saving a library (I mean, who wouldn't?!), and this one was just really well written with lovable characters.
I do enjoy Bella Osborne’s romance book but this generational read was equally as good if not better. Featuring teenager Tom and pensioner Maggie the story gradually opens up their lives and characters and the interactions between them grow at a credible rate. I really felt for Tom who was quite lonely and really just existed alongside his widower dad and not entirely unusually his main connection to his friends was through his Xbox. Maggie lives a very lonely life but equally avoids much introspection into her life, she has some wonderfully eccentric ways too and her small holding sounded idyllic although hard work at times. This worked so well due to the gradual relationship between the two and the way Maggie encouraged Tom to think more about his future, the way they united to try to save the library was in some ways more of a backstory but it tied everything together so well, 9/10
Wow what a read! Community spirit fighting for a library, alcoholism, the wonderful relationship between a teenage boy and an ageing hippy, cute farm animals and a shared love of reading! The library is a truly heartwarming read that follows the relationship between Tom a teenage boy living a miserable existence with his alcoholic father after the death of his mum and the eccentric, outgoing elderly Maggie! Maggie is Tom’s fairy godmother/saviour who provides him with a country home, good home cooked food and a sense of belonging and being cared for, this unlikely relationship blossoms and provides a much needed balm for both of them as they grow, develop, flourish and benefit from the relationship! Who would have thought such a mutually beneficial relationship across the age gap could reap such dividends and it all started with the love of books and reading! A great read for anyone that loves books/reading and s happy ever after. Thank you netgalley for this early read.
I love Bellas style and she didn’t disappoint again. Another great read with well thought out characters.
Friendships can come in various forms and sometimes the person that you never knew you needed can be found in the most unlikely of places. Their library is the beacon that calls to them, for differing reasons, but it’s the catalyst that changes how they look at other people. The exceptional relationship between Maggie and Tom is so compelling, they each draw such strength from the vitality and vulnerabilities from the other. You could fully understand why they felt that strong connection together. I was fully engrossed in their evolving alliance against their own demons and the ones trying to take their library away from them. It was hard to pull myself away from them. Maggie’s sense of resilience was fantastic, and it chipped away at the stereotype of the older person on their own. I loved that she gave Tom the courage to strive for something different. She nurtured his wounded spirit and was a counterpoint to his stagnated relationship with his dad. We all need the yin to our yang, and Tom & Maggie show that true friendships are to be cherished. This is such an uplifting story, it will make your heart zing.
My thanks to NetGalley and Aria Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review. “The Library” drew me in, as it did Tom and Maggie, the main characters in this new uplifting novel by Bella Osborne. As an avid reader and lover of books, I am of the opinion that a town without a library is a place that has no soul. For books bring us together, introduce us to different ways of life, of thought, of being. They also bring together people from all backgrounds, ages and walks of life. A library is a necessity not a luxury. “The Library” opens with Tom, a sixteen year old grieving for his mother, who died a few months previously. Tom’s dad is also grieving and in his grief , he turns to alcohol to numb the pain. Which does not make for a pleasant home life for Tom, who already feels invisible. No one notices Tom at all, well, except for local bully Kemp, for whom Tom is a target. Tom is lonely. Maggie is a seventy two year old, self sufficient person, who lives alone on a small holding out side of town. Maggie was an eco warrior long before it was fashionable. Once a week Maggie goes to the library book club, mainly for the company. Maggie is lonely. Out of necessity, Tom rediscovers reading, something he used to enjoy with his mum. He also discovers the library. Where he meets Maggie. A series of circumstances, draws the two together. Their friendship grows and becomes the catalyst for change in both their lives. This book tackles some dark issues and does not shy away from them, but it is shot through with the golden threads of positivity and humour, a hall mark of Bella’s books. I absolutely recommend this book to all. .
Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie. Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that's what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don't have to define her future. They each set out to prove that the library isn't just about books – it's the heart of their community. Together they discover some things are worth fighting for. Bella Osbourne is very quickly writing her way into being my favourite author. This is another absolute triumph, I adored last year's 'A Family Christmas' and this year's book us no different. It's the perfect mix of sadness, resilience and just perhaps a little happiness at the end. She is excellent at writing characters at opposite ends of the age spectrum and I found this to be a prefectly written piece of uplit literature, it gets a definite 5 star review from me.
Thanks to Aria and Aries and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review. I've read a few Bella Osborne books and enjoyed them and this one is no exception - well there might be a tiny exception - I think this is my favourite. I absolutely loved this. It's the story of Tom a troubled 16 year old who just wants to be ignored and Maggie a 72 year old lady he meets in the library and the unlikely bond that they form. This is a wonderful story!
This book was received as an ARC from Aria Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I have been waiting for a book like this all my life since I got my degree and became a librarian. Many people do not know the true significance of the library and what it provides to the community (it's more than just books). In The Library it sparked a romance and a venue for a date in which it is a significant part of not only the community but to someone's life. After Tom gets himself in bug trouble, he not only needs the support from Maggie but the resources in the library more than ever especially if the library is being threatened to shut down. The library can be a true safe haven in the library and you can find wonderful things in the library and I am delighted that this book took a clear focus on that. I know our library community will appreciate that. We will consider adding this title to our Adult Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
The Library is such a lovely read. A small Midlands library is central to so many people, but especially Tom and Maggie. I,loved the pairing of a teenage boy and a feisty elderly woman. Both have a need for each other and strike up a friendship, focusing around the library, where they met. I love that Tom sneak reads romances. I loved that many books mentioned by the characters I have read as well. I loved what the characters said about the importance of a library. There was nothing I didn’t like about this book. Maggie is a woman who has paid dearly for past mistakes and Tom just needs attention. Please don’t miss out on this remarkable book. It will make you smile, I promise,
Every stage of our life is hard, one harder than the other; all these depend on our surroundings and the choices we make along the way. The second chances of the second chances we are granted in life are all we need to rearrange our path and whether we are brave enough to take them or not. And last but not least is forgiveness, that's the greatest encouraging way to feel supported by the ones we love and hurt with our bad decisions, including ourselves. -And that is what this book is about. I hope you have the chance to read it and enjoy it as much as I did.
With huge thanks to #Netgalley and #Aria&Aries for an ARC of #TheLibrary by #BellaOsborne, in return for an honest review. Tom is invisible... He is 16, lives with his dad and doesn't have any real friends. No one notices him. After a run-in with his father, Tom escapes to the safety of the local library, where he hopes he may see the girl he fancies, but ends up finding so much more. Maggie is 72, she lives alone on her farm with only the chickens and sheep for company. Maggie is no little old lady, but she is lonely, and her Saturday trips to the library for book club, are a lifeline for her. As Tom and Maggie leave the library that Saturday, something happens that makes their paths cross, and changes the direction of both their lives. Saturday's at the library become routine for Tom and Maggie and their unexpected friendship begins to blossom. As news hits of the councils plans to close the library, can they work together to help save it? And maybe save each other too. Tom pulled at my every maternal instinct from page one. This beautiful, thoughtful, vulnerable boy absolutely broke my heart because he deserved so much more than the life he had. What was brilliant about Bella’s writing of Tom’s character, was that she never forgot he was a teenage boy, and made sure his character was peppered with all the usual traits of a sixteen year old. Maggie was an absolute delight to read. Despite her own demons and secrets from her past, her day to day loneliness and advancing years, she was a feisty, can do, type of lady. Who would ride to anyone’s rescue on her tractor! This book isn’t the usual funny romance many of us have grown to know and love from Bella Osborne. While it may not be a love story, it is a tale that is full of love of a different kind. This book covers some serious issues, loneliness, bullying, grief and alcoholism. Bella writes with knowledge and empathy. The reader is dragged through some very raw reality, but the light balances the shade in this story. In this book, Bella makes the very important point about how valuable our libraries are and how we all need to use them or risk losing them. It’s fair to say I'm a fan of Bella’s writing and I almost didn't want to read anything other than the fabulously funny, feel-good romance stories that Bella Osborne is renowned for writing. However, being someone who has a terrible fear of missing out, there was no way I couldn’t have given this book a read. I’m so glad I did. It may be a slight change of direction for Bella’s writing, but her skill, humour and warmth still shine through. So, just to clarify, I LOVED this book. Tom and Maggie were delightful, their story made me both laugh and cry. As a whole this book is brutal and raw in places, but ultimately full of love and hope, friendship and family…. A heartwarming five stars from me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Library from Bella Osbourne is the first book from the author I have read, and I adored this book about an unusual friendship between Tom who is a teenager and a 72-year-old woman called Maggie. Who met at a library that is being threatened with closure. Tom is 16 and lives with his abusive alcoholic father. His mother died. Maggie is 72 spritely woman who lives on her own on a farm. Maggie befriends Tom and lets him stay on the farm. A break from his father. Hoping that his dad will come to realise he has a problem and get help. While Maggie has secrets of her own. She gave up her baby years ago and now grown up he doesn’t want anything to do with her. The pair seem to help each other and get over their problems and also, they devise a plan to save the library. Thank you, Aria, for a copy of ‘The Library’. I loved this emotional though-provoking story about a library. It is also a realistic account of what happens in families today. It had a great storyline and likeable well-loved characters. I can’t wait to read more from the author. I will be looking at her other books that she has written.
Tom is an invisible teenager, not popular at school, few friends and a bit of a loner. After a row with his alcoholic dad he resorts to seeking solace in the library where he meets Maggie, a pensioner with a feisty character who lives alone on a farm outside of town. Maggie takes him under her wing and together they fight the impending closure of the library, a place that brought them their great friendship. The story isn't without tears as they learn each others secrets. An absolutely beautiful, heart warming story that made me cry more than once!
I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley. #netgalley So much fun. I really enjoyed the character development in this book.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book took me surprise, in the best way. I loved it. The characters were well developed and the plot held my interest throughout the whole book.
Thank you for the EArc Aria&Aries and NetGalley. Wowwwww talk about a heart wrencher! If you love found family you will LOVE this book. Your heart aches for Tom and Maggie as they navigate life. Their relationship was so beautiful and my heart was just rooting for Tom the whole dang time. Loved this one so so much! Get it, you’ll love it!
Who doesn't love a library! The description by Bella Osborne is evocative, I just loved it. Thomas Harris is a teenage boy coming up to do his GCSE exams & he thinks he's an invisible boy. He finds himself at the local library where he is looking at romantic novels to get some ideas to impress a girl. On his way home, he helps Maggie when she is mugged for her handbag. A friendship develops & their lives change. I loved this book. Such an enriching story, so many ups & downs but a happy ending. Recommended read, along with all of Bella Osborne books.
The synopsis reads Two different generations brought together to save the local library. But this book is so much more than this, community spirit prevails in this tale. We meet Tom a teenager who is struggling at the beginning of his exams, his home life with his drunken dad is unbearable and Maggie a 72 year old managing alone on her farm. They form an unlikely friendship but by the end save themselves and each other. The vivid description of the local library reminded me of my own childhood sitting in the designated children's area with my head in a book while my mum looked for her own. The book shows what a valuable service the library provides which in the day and age of ereaders is something special and not to be dismissed. In a village it is a lifeline to many people. Needless to say I loved this book, I read it in two hours and the world could have ended and I would not have known. Many thanks to Netgalley and Aria books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review
I love books about books so much! This is a perfect, cute read for a book club. I would read this again!
A heartwarming story set in the United Kingdom about the friendship between Tom (a teenage boy) and Maggie (an elderly woman). I loved how their friendship grew. Both were likable characters with flaws.
I absolutely love an inter-generational tale so as soon as I read the synopsis and saw that it was about an unlikely friendship between a teenage boy and an elderly lady I knew I needed to read it. What a beautiful and uplifting story. The references to popular fiction was fun and I loved that Tom's first foray into reading was the romance genre and that he loved it. Maggie was such a brilliant character, I love how she took charge of situations and looked out for Tom when it seemed like no one else was. I really liked how real the story felt too, in most stories like this the hero's save the day with their unending enthusiasm for the project but in this tale although they were all keen to save the library their own lives got in the way at times, which for me is much closer to reality. There are also a few tough issue tackled within the pages such as alcoholism and parent/baby loss, which although I thought were handled well, would be triggering for some.
Thought I had alredy posted this review, but... ********* I loved this book! There are so many things happening , so many lessons to learn for young and old. First, as a former teacher, this book is a great recommendation to any teen suffering the angst of simply being a teen. Tom, the main character, is a solitary young man with a rather sad family life. He is the son of a widowed father who has slowly slid into alcoholism and really sees nothing beyond factory work and drinking. Young Tom lives for his XBox and the online games with others until his dad desroys the XBox in a drunken rage. As an escape, Tom finds himself at the local library where he lies and says he is getting romance novels for his mother. Leaving the library, he helps Maggie, a book club member, when she is mugged. This develops into a wonderful relationship in which Tom discovers what life is like with someone who cares about you as Maggie slowly and gently teaches him so many important life lessons. Through Maggie, he sees what might have been instead of the life he has with his father. Without telling too much, there are wonderful reasons to read this book: 1) It is set in England so there are differences in the education system, the villages, the transportation, the foods, and more. For an American teen (or pre-teen), there could be lots of questions and hopefully an attempt to learn more. 2) For a lonely, socially awkward teen, this book shows how life can get better. We see Tom slowly becoming more confident, even though it does remain quite the struggle. We watch as he learns to stand up for himself in so many ways. 3) Kids having parental problems might see themselves in this book. More than likely, they will find themselves cheering for Tom while realizing, "I can be like him." 4) Young readers might also realize that it is perfectly fine to read all kinds of books. The things Tom learns from reading the romances he pretends to check out for his mother are life altering. He reads how people react through these stories and sees how these books are quite realistic. 5) The value of friendships between senior citizens and younger people is shown. Tom grows so close to Maggie and cherishes the many things she teaches him. He learns how to relax but also how to physically defned himself. He learns things without realizing he has learned them...like the benefits of healthy eating and the emotional value of animals. 6) Tom wants to further his education, something his father does not understand. However, Tom perseveres and studies hard to take exams. (This is something American kids will not understand as the education system differs in the attempting to go on to college.) Readers see Tom's struggle as he has to work very hard to even have a chance to pass exams. 7) Through the book, readers see the value in standing up for what you believe through different incidences. It can be hard, but the rewards are great. 8) Maybe the greatest lesson coming from The Library would be the act of forgiveness and how difficult it can be but once you struggle through the hurt and anger, forgiveness feels so good. I am sure there is more that can be said. Obviously, there is something about this book that just struck a chord with me. I would love to discuss it with younger readers.I actually have family living in the area of England where this took place and I was excited to text and tell them where the characters went. When this book is published, look for it and share it with pre-teens up. I would want it to be that age as they would be the ones who are probably feeling the emotions felt by Tom. This is a book I received as an ARC from #NetGalley and #AriaFiction.
What a refreshing change this book is! I went into this book not really knowing what it would be about. I think I just presumed it would be the normal romance novel that I usually read. I could not have been more wrong! This is about 2 people that find each other at the right time, however, this book is about a 72 year old woman that meets a 15 year old boy in a library and they change each others lives for the better. Tom Harris is living with his alcoholic father after losing his mum a few years ago. Both Tom and his dad are struggling to come to come to terms with this loss. After an argument with his father, he joins the library. Another reason for his interest in the library, is that he goes to see a girl from school called Farrah, who he has a crush on. He becomes interested in the romance books and this gives him a way to talk to her. However, his visits to the library is where he meets Maggie and a wonderful friendship develops. I just loved Maggie, she is just amazing so many elements to her character and there are a few surprises along the way. She helps Tom to see that there is a better life out there for him and that he can do anything if he puts his mind to things. His father is putting pressure on Tom to get a job in the dog food factory he works at and Tom is desperate to avoid this fate. Maggie shows him that he does not need to accept this from his father and that there is a world of opportunity out there for him. The library is threatened with closure and they all pull together to save it, they realise that this is a community space and without it, none of them would have met. Please give this book a read, its heart-warming and I am left wondering what Tom achieves in his life afterwards. Thank you to Bella Osborne, Aria & Aries and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book as an eARC
The Library is a charming contemporary fiction novel about the friendship between a lonely teenager and a stoic old lady. It’s not my usual reading fare, but I do like the occasional heartwarmer in between all the thrillers, and this one hit all the right notes. Tom Harris lives with his widowed alcoholic father, and goes red whenever his gorgeous classmate Farah looks at him. One boring Saturday day he finds himself in the library, and discovers a passion for reading. Maggie lives alone on her farm with her sheep, and sees in young Tom the son she lost years before. When the council propose closing their local library, Maggie and Tom will rally together their small English village to help save it. I wonder if there’s a term for comedy-dramas that are about finding friendship, rather than romantic love - chum-com? While entirely predictable, this had just the right amount of sad bits and happy bits, endearing bonding moments and pointless fall-outs, cute animals and a challenge to meet that you know will have a happy ending. Tom’s initial oblivious self-centredness felt very realistic - he’s a nice boy and I enjoyed the coming of age aspects here as he learns that it’s not all about him. Maggie was a great character, spiky and tough, and the descriptions of her cooking had my mouth watering. 4.5 rounded up because who doesn’t love a book about bookworms! Thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the ARC. The Library is published on September 2nd.
This is such a lovely heartwarming tale. Tom is sixteen and just about to take his GCSE'S. He lives with his dad who is an alcoholic. His mother died when Tom was eight. Maggie is a seventy two year old who lives by herself on a farm. They come together when trying to save their local library. There were some funny moments in this but also some sad ones too. How each one copes with their own circumstances. Maggie takes Tom under her wing and I thought their relationship worked very well even though Tom could be a stroppy teen at times. I loved how they both worked with each other especially on the farm.Tom was really caring and looked out for Maggie. This is a different avenue for Bella and it was definitely as good as her others Thanks to Netgalley and Aria for the ARC in return for an honest review
Ahhhh, this book made my heart sing! Such a delightful, heartwarming read! Tom and Maggie's friendship was loveable and uplifting. Highly recommended!
What a lovely lovely read. I loved this story about Tom and Maggie. An unusual friendship between a teenage boy and a 72 year old women which was founded on their interest in books. This book utterly captured me and I loved their friendship. I would highly recommend this book.
I love reading books, I love reading everything about books and I love libraries! Everyone needs to be an active member of a library if they can, to support their library, their community and the authors. Libraries are pivotal to many people and it is essential that they are kept open. The Library by Bella Osborne centres on two main characters, Tom and Maggie and the relationship between the two is just absolute wonderful. The link between them which bonds them even further does not come out until later in the book and I had no idea up until then that this was going to happen. Bringing these two characters together, who on paper are completely opposites - Maggie is 70, Tom is 16 - was just brilliant. Maggie lives alone on her farm, with her animals as her family and her books as her life. Tom lives with his alcoholic father and spends his time on his Xbox. But everything changes when Tom and Maggie meet and their lives become totally transformed and so much better for them both. The help that they gave each other and the difference they made to each other’s lives was just so wonderful and heartwarming. Fantastic character connection. Maggie and Tom both worked together to save their local library. They dug deep and did everything they possible could, getting everyone involved, to save the library. I read this during Lockdown where libraries everywhere were closed - the impact this had on so many people’s lives was incredible. People rely on their library for books, for using a computer but also for human contact. Sometimes the librarian may be on the only person someone may chat to during their week. The impact that a library can have on a person’s life cannot be under estimated and it is so essential that we support libraries always. Such a wonderful book, I loved the storyline and the characters. Please go and borrow a book and support your local library! If you are not a member, you will be astounded of the amount that happens in a library and the people you meet. It is not just about going in, picking up a book, and coming out again. It is about community, support and helping yourself and those around you. Thank you very much for my advanced copy. This review is based on a NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.
Such a wonderful book! I wish I could write a review that would do it justice. I absolutely fell in love with this story. Each of the characters is wonderfully complex and eminently engaging. Maggie and Tom are unlikely friends but the relationship between them made my heart expand. The setting is also adorable and quaint. Already battling for top place on my "favourites of 2021" list, it was a real wrench to finish this book. I feel a massive book hangover approaching. I want to return to this world! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
This book left me with tears— happy tears. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Absolutely loved this book. Tom is a 16 year old with a hard upbringing which has left him emotionally awkward, shy and without friends. He is being raised by an alcoholic father, often has no food in the house and subsists on fishfingers. He doesn’t think about a future and doesn’t much care for school. Maggie, an independent elderly woman farmer takes care of her sheep. Living alone, without friends or family, she can’t wait for Saturday’s when she goes to a book club through the local library. When Maggie and Tom meet their worlds change as they fight to save the local library. You will cry and laugh as Maggie and Tom make friends, become family and Tom learns to fight for what he wants. An absolutely wonderful book.
Every so often, you come across a book that you know you'll never forget, a story lives with you forever. This is one of those books. Maggie, I can only describe as being the Miss Honey of this generation. Teenager Tom, comes to her aid after a mugging and the two build a strong friendship aided by the local library and the sharing of home troubles. Maggie takes Tom under her wing and allows him to feel part of a family again, and in exchange, Tom helps with Maggie's feelings of loneliness. A wonderful and beautiful, yet realistic, heartwarming story. - please be aware this book will make you both laugh and cry.
Loved, loved, loved this book! Sixteen-year-old Tom is struggling at home and at school when he wanders into the local library one day. Seventy-two year old Maggie is living a solitary if somewhat lonely life. Her weekly book club at the public library makes up one of her few interactions with others in an average week. When these two team up to try to save their local libary from closure, they form an unlikely but lasting friendship. Their struggles were raw and real to me, and I loved the bond that the two formed. Highly recommend! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
A book about a multigenerational friendship, set in a library. Thoroughly enchanting and engaging! The friendship that Tom and Maggie had was adorable. I really loved their dynamics. This was so relatable and a fun summer read if you love reading about books!
I couldn’t put this book down. Maggie and Tom captured my heart and I loved being in their world. Maggie is 72, a bit lonely and bored, and very well developed character. She has a whole past. Tom is 17 and struggling with a single father who drinks too much, and Tom feels alone, awkward and unsure of his future after high school. The two meet in a hilarious interaction involving the community library and become friends through their time there. The ending is tied up in a very neat bow, but it’s satisfying for a book like this, which almost feels like a classic romance in structure, but about friendship instead. I definitely recommend spending an afternoon or evening with this lovely story! <i>Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy<i>
Amazing. I loved this so much. It was so moving at times and so poignant and real. I loved the friendship between Tom and Maggie, they were each so brave to take that step needed and reach out and be friends, it’s so easy to stay stuck in the cycle of despondency no matter how much you recognise you wish you could change something. That one positive connect changed their whole out look and allowed them both to flourish and fully engage with life. Seeing Tom navigate all the issues in his life, mainly stemming from his dad and home life was quite moving, having a teenage boy as a main character is unusual but I really enjoyed watching him overcome his issues and working through his feelings. Paired with Maggie, who may be lonely in old age, clearly had a very full and unique life before hand and it’s thanks to that she is able to be calm and reassuring to Tom and allow him the space to discover and explore his feelings on things. This was an amazing read from start to finish.
When I was approved for this ARC, I Tweeted the author and thanked her. She warned me that The Library is different to her usual stories and hoped that I enjoyed it. She needn’t have worried because I absolutely loved it. Bella was right in saying that the style is quite different, but it’s certainly a fabulous form of different! The story is told in the first-person as each chapter switches between Tom and Maggie. I’m not usually overly enamoured with the first-person style, but this proves that one cannot judge a format so easily. On the surface, this is a book about saving a library from closure. Scratch a little deeper and it is so much more. Bella Osborne tackles several sensitive subjects including bullying, addiction and bereavement. Each of these elements are handled gently, respectfully and with complete empathy for the reader’s emotions. The Library gets right into the impact of topics that truly test mental health, taking time to explore their longer term effects. I thoroughly enjoy stories which see older characters as strong individuals and Maggie is a perfect example. She has had her fair share of heartache, but her priorities focus on helping her friends rather that feeling sorry for herself. I hope that you will give this beautiful story a chance, it is a fulfilling read and left me feeling thoroughly contented.
Rarely does a book hit so unexpectedly..... Tom is an awkward UK teenager who is at a major crossroads in his life. He needs to start thinking about his future which is difficult with no guidance. His mother died when he was eight, and his father is an alcoholic. Maggie is a seventy-two year old woman who is struggling with living alone on her farm. These two bump into each other at the local library which is slated to be closed. Can the library be saved? How will things turn out for these two? This book was like Harold and Maude plus a library. It was truly endearing, and the author did a perfect job of depicting what it feels like to live with a drunk parent: never knowing what you are coming home to, how long you will be able to live in the same spot, struggling to make ends meet. There are parents who are not top 10% parents; there are parents who are bottom 10%, and this book was one of them. It also reminded me a bit of The Glass Castle. The Library stirred the emotions in the best possible way, and I loved the UK atmosphere and tone. Flying off the handle would not have worked as well in this book, and the scenes came across even stronger. It also felt very realistic, especially when fighting for the library, acknowledging that perhaps they were not going to be able to save it. One thing that The Library did was inspire me to help out my local library and fired off a note asking if they wanted my assistance in punching up their social media presence, if they want me to give a presentation about books (how to get free books, book recommendations, how to get started in the book community), and book donations. Excellent reminder to give back to the book community before it is too late! Overall, a really excellent book, and I am already looking forward to reading it again.
Thank you to Netgalley, Aria, and Bella Osborne for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have been sitting on my thoughts with this book for so long before writing this because I genuinely don’t know how to put how I feel about it into words. I loved this story SO MUCH and it is hands down one of my favourites for the year. It has been on my mind so many times since I finished, and if I didn’t have so many other books to read at the moment I would read it again (that will happen multiple times in my future, that much I know.) The relationship between Maggie and Tom is so wonderful. I love seeing friendships form between people of different generations; there is just something so special about it and these two are not an exception. The heart, the love, the need in both and what they found in their friendship is just so heartwarming to witness. I also love that there are crazy animals. I mean, any story with animals is automatically a winner in my books, but crazy animals? That’s my jam! Lol it certainly bring another element to the story that is fun and funny. I highly recommend you read this story and watch the healing of two souls as they form a sweet and loving friendship and join forces to make a difference.
I adored this book! It was nothing like I expected and I found myself reading late into the night not wanting to put it down. I loved the relationship between Tom (a lonely teenager) and Maggie (a 70+ woman living on her own). It was such a heart warming novel, I truly recommend.
The Library by Bella Osborne Goodreads review I got The Library by Bella Osborne from NetGalley for free for an honest review. The Library, tells the story of a 16-year-old boy called Tom whose sole social life is based around his time playing on his x-box. In the real world he just wants to be invisible so to boost his confidence when speaking to girls, he goes to the library to borrow some romance books, using the excuse that they are for his mother, even though she died when Tom was much younger. While their he Meets Maggie a lonely old woman whose husband has been dead for ten years and comes to the book club as for the company. But suddenly the library is facing closure. The Library is written from the two perspectives of Maggie and Tom with each person’s perspective having a dedicated chapter. which means you always no which persons narrative you are seeing at that time. This allowed the story to tell the story through the character of either Maggie or Tom and then in the next chapter, seeing how the other both interpreted the event so showing why they reacted the way they did. What I Liked about this novel apart form the interactions between Maggie and Tom, as they both get to know each other both the good and the bad. Another thing the story did well was to make each character by the end of the novel be more than their stereo types, Maggie is not you typical old lady, as you see the skills she has by the end of the book. Even Tom and his dad who start of being portrayed as being stereotypes at the start of the novel, with their character development throughout the book are well rounded people. The Library by Bella Osborne is an emotional tale which really gripped me as a reader as I got to know Maggie and Tom more throughout the book. While there were times that this novel could have become full of cliches talking the story to a point that almost become a novel written by just ticking the boxes which meant it would come predictable, The Library never did that making Bella Osborne’s latest book well worth reading.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. Bella Osborne this book was a key that took me on an adventure which I didn’t want to end. This book is like a gorgeous treat. I started it earlier today and have just finished. I loved the main characters Tom & Maggie. Their stories will make you feel for them, as their secrets come out throughout the story. It was lovely to see them become friends, help each other, even with the age difference. The library, the place where this friendship was formed, was faced with closure, the community comes together to save it for those using it now and future generations. There are other issues raised within the story, such as loneliness and alcoholism. It was emotional along with laugh out loud moments. Highly Recommend
How could I not request a book called The Library? And look at that lovely book filled cover. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but honestly it was the title a cover alone that got me. I am happy to report that the inside is just as wonderful. Meet Tom. He is sixteen and lonely. His Mum has passed, he isn't much for making friends and his dad has a problem with the bottle. Meet Maggie. She is seventy-two and lonely. She has her library and her book club...but not much else. When these two meet, after Tom tries to save Maggie from being robbed, these two least likely people start a friendship and become confidants and usual users of the local library. This was such a joyful book, mixing a multi generational friendship with a love of books. It touched me in so many ways. It was at times thoughtful, dealing with many issues, but it was also very humorous. I highly recommended this to book and library lovers everywhere. All the stars!
Here is that feel good genre that has no name again! It's the active senior and the outcast teen who find something special in each other, similar to [book:The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot|54798488]. But no one is dying in this book, instead the beloved library is being shut down. For many, this constitutes the same thing. As Tom and Maggie join the fight to save the library, they find themselves and face some hard facts about their lives. I loved reading along as the two fell instep with each other and showed that you don't need to be blood relatives to be family. This was a great heartwarming story with loveable characters. I smiled and even chuckled a few times while reading it. Definitely one for when you need a little cheering up yourself!
Heartwarming and engaging read by Bella Osborne, with a bildungsroman for not only the teen character Tom but also for the OAP firecracker Maggie, as they fight the closure of the local library. This is a lovely ode to bibliophilia, the magic of a library and the power of community action that reminded me of The Lido by Libby Page. It grapples beautifully with the theme of loneliness in older generations, alcoholism and parenting without straying into preaching or maudlin territory. Also great book recommendations for Tom who ventures into the wonderful world of chicklit!! Recommended this one a lot since finishing.
Once again, Bella Osborne has written another fabulous book. The Library follows the unlikely friendship of teenager Tom and pensioner Maggie as they rally their local community to try and save their library. Tom is pretty much a nobody at school. Unseen and unheard. However he decides the only way for the gorgeous Farah to notice him, is if he gets a few tips by delving into the world of romantic fiction. It’s at the library he meets Maggie. She’s been alone for ten years since her husband passed away and thought she was happy, but her burgeoning friendship with Tom makes her realise differently. This novel had me hooked from page one. It’s a tale of friendship, community and belonging. It covers some difficult subjects but also has some humour in there too appealing to all readers. Thank you to NetGalley, Aria and the author for the chance to review.
What a wonderful book this was. Another brilliant read from Bell Osbourne. I loved it so much. Although the title suggests that it’s all about a library, that is not just this story it is also about relationships, and the angst of school exams. This was such a sweet story and I loved every page. You’re always guaranteed a good read from this author and this one was just as good. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Thank you for my arc @netgalley and @bellaosborne. The book features Maggie a pensioner and Tom a Teenage lad. Both stuck in unhappy home circumstances and use the library as an escape. An unlikely friendship forms and when the library is faced with closure. Time for them to work together on a plan. I love how the chapters alternate between Maggie and Tom. It is lovely to read and see their friendship form. Bella Osborne has done it again with her characters and her writing. ✏️✏️✏️✏️✏️
The Library by Bella Osborne is a heart warming tale with an unlikely friendship at its core. Teenager Tom is struggling at home and at school. His dad is drinking more and the bills are starting to pile up. His school results are not great, so his escape plan of getting to go to University is looking less likely, and a future working in the local factory alongside his dad is looming on the horizon. In an attempt to get some peace from his dads drunken moods he decides to try studying in the local library. (The fact that he is studying what women want by reading romance novels in an attempt to get the attention of his fellow student Farah is something that made me giggle) Maggie is an elderly farmer in her seventies. She lives alone on her small farm and her only real social outlet is the weekly meeting of the local book club at the library. When she is almost mugged on her way home from one meeting , Tom comes to her aid and the pair spark up an unlikely but wonderful friendship which is cemented when the library is threatened with closure and they decide to mount a campaign to save it. This is the perfect comfort read to curl up with on a wet afternoon. It is filled with wonderful characters and there are some hilariously funny moments scattered throughout. The depiction of alcoholism is very real, and there are certainly some very dark moments too, but the overall message is one of hope and redemption. I really loved both Tom and Maggie as characters , and loved how the friendship between them developed. For a book where a library plays such an important part in the story it was great to see the characters recommending books to each other, discussing them and finding comfort in them. Overall this is wonderfully warm and hopeful book and one that I enjoyed immensely. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own .
An absolutely superb read – touching, tender and so very true-to-life! Tom is a bit of a loner; it’s just him and his Dad and they struggle through week to week. The height of his father’s ambitions for his is to secure a job in the dog food factory but Tom has other ideas. Seeking sanctuary in the library after a row over his future, Tom ends up in the library with a bag of romance books which piques the interest of Maggie, there for her weekly book club meeting. Maggie keeps busy and tries not to class herself as lonely. When Tom comes to her rescue, an unlikely friendship begins. This is a truly lovely tale, but there is more than a bit of truth between the pages. Tom’s life is more common than we would like to think and Maggie – like a lot of the elderly – hides her loneliness as she doesn’t want to be seen as a burden. The tentative relationship between these two is a joy to behold; both have something to give in return to what they take from their closeness. It’s not all plain sailing though, and Bella Osborne has wonderful insights into both ends of the age spectrum and everything inbetween. With a hint of social commentary, this is a beautifully written and very enjoyable novel – and one I enjoyed very much. An absolute delight to read and one I’m happy to highly recommend and give all five sparkling stars! My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
“Like the rest of you, I always thought the library would be here. I never expected it to be under threat. It’s a stark reminder to not take anything in life for granted. You only properly start fighting for something when you realise you’re going to lose it.” The Library is a novel by British author, Bella Osborne. Compton Mallow’s village library is many things to many people: for seventy-two-year-old Maggie, it represents a break from Providence Farm, some social interaction with her book club and a chance to read the papers; for sixteen-year-old Thomas Harris, it’s quiet place to study and revise for his GCSEs, and a source of the romance novels he hopes will teach him how to attract a certain girl. While it’s inevitable that they notice each other, it’s not until Maggie punches Tom on the nose that they get to know one another better. Maggie is quickly impressed with this introverted young man, finding his company refreshing. While she is mostly self-sufficient at the farm, when she asks for help, Tom readily agrees, especially as a roast dinner is on offer. His dad’s cooking could never come close and, while not prepared to openly admit it, Tom is surprised at the rapport he has with this witty old lady. When he encounters that certain girl in the library, he manages to chat about books without being wholly overcome by the embarrassment that usually plagues him. Later, they learn that the library is under threat of closure and, together with Maggie’s book group and other library patrons, they vow to fight the council’s short-sighted plan. Meanwhile, Maggie calls on Tom’s assistance more often, glad that he is both willing and interested in farm work, and she’s happy to have someone else to cook for. They open up more to one another, and Maggie has sound advice about study and further education. On the farm, Tom finds himself involved in tasks he could never have anticipated, and enthralled by newborn animals. When Tom phones Maggie in a panic one night, she does not hesitate to come to his aid, and their relationship enters a new phase. But Maggie has not been entirely honest about her past, a past that Tom’s continued presence has her reaching out for, with unfortunate consequences. What a wonderful cast of characters Osborne gives the reader: appealing for all their very human flaws, growing and changing with the challenges they face. And there are quite a few: alcoholism, loneliness, grief, guilt, social isolation and low self-esteem. It’s lovely to see Tom and Maggie ultimately fighting for the library that brought them together when they most needed to meet. This is a delightfully funny, heart-warming feel-good story with a satisfying happy ending. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Aria & Aries
📚Lonely lives 👥changed by an atypical friendship: heartwarming😍 The Library is a beautiful story, built around a community's efforts to save their little library from local government budget cuts. But the library's iffy future is really just the spark that brings the main characters in regular contact and their growing bond is the real heart of this book. Thomas and Maggie, with over half a century of an age gap between them, seem an unlikely pairing. From their first unexpected encounter, I was hooked by their developing friendship. Both are in need of someone and quickly recognize an adventurous, book-loving kindred spirit in the other. I loved Tom's vulnerability and Maggie's strength and empathy. And Tom's last, kind act at the book's end: s-o-o touching and a lovely, perfect ending for a superb novel. I just discovered Bella Osborne's writing in 2021 and I must say she has won me over as a huge fan. With warmth and great characters going through realistic life challenges, her stories pull me in and leave me with a satisfied sigh. Thanks to Aria publishers and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.
OMG I was hooked on this book from the start, the characters are sox well written and you feel everything with them, loved the way the chapters switched fromTom to Maggie, I didn’t want this book to end I am really hoping we visit them again, I feel there was so much more to tell , 5 stars without any hesitation This is my first boom by Bella Osborne but it won’t be my last!
This book is a real gem! Beautiful characters and a wonderful stoy. The Library is the book you must read this year, a gorgeous treat that will stay with you for a while. Absolutely recommended! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't read any any books by Bella Osborn before but thought I couldn't turn one down about libraries! The author has combined romance, friendship and a campaign to save a local library into a good read. Tom a 16 year old school boy and Maggie, a older lady living on her own, are too lonely people who meet by chance through their local library. Both have issues to deal with, Tom, an alcoholic father and Maggie, choices made in her past which are still affecting her present. As they become friends a new world of opportunities opens up to them and they find the strength and confidence to deal with their problems as well as uniting to fight the closure of their local library. A really good read which will appeal to a range of people. I really liked the fact that Tom used romance books to get an understanding of how to talk to teenage girls.....! It is great to see that the author believes in reading and libraries to have a transformative affect on lives of people and communities.
I've read a number of Bella Osborne books and loved them. This is a bit of a different theme for Bella and what a wonderful book it is. Themes of cross-generation friendship, redemption and much more - all wrapped around the story of a local community library. Heartwarming and highly recommended.
I loved this heartwarmingly brilliant book. I absolutely loved the serendipitous meeting between Maggie and Tom. Tom is not a typical teenager and he has been through so much in his short life. His dad struggles with some day to day situations and when Tom visits the library things begin to change for him. Maggie is a 70 something lady who has had her fair share of stresses in her life but meeting Tom in the library one day helps her no end. The friendship that they develop is so special and the hope for the library to remain open is looking better. Fabulous book and its something relatable because of our Libraries at the moment, needing all the help we can give.
The Library is everything I wanted, or rather needed to read right now. This heartwarming, endearing, and sentimental read based on the unlikely friendship formed between a 16-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman, who meet unexpectedly in their local library, is a powerful yet gentle read. With its punchy chapters and viewpoints from both of the characters, this is easy to get lost in and forget the world around you, which is exactly what happened when I picked this up. The references to other books within this story made it relatable and entertaining through to the end. Although there are a few sensitive issues discussed, it is perfectly written to avoid making it heavy going. Keeping the light read feel throughout. This is a book I will be recommending to all my fellow bookworms, an absolute must-read, either individually or as part of a book club! Beautifully written, I will definitely be picking up other works by this author in the future..
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for giving me this free ebook in return for a review. I loved this book! It was such a cute, sweet book that caught my interest and I could barely put it down. It’s nothing fancy or clever, it’s just pure bookish pleasure. If it was a food stuff it would be chocolate! We follow two characters - Tom a 16 year old who is facing his GCSEs and girls and trying to deal with an alcoholic father and a deep loneliness; and Maggie a 72 year old woman who lives alone and lonely on a small holding outside the village where Tom lives. Convinced the best way to understand girls is to read about them, Tom goes to the village library to borrow romance novels. When his Xbox is out of action he becomes a reader instead. The library is where he meets and develops a bond with Maggie. The relationship between them feels natural and develops along very believable lines. Although, I must say I’m not sure how many 16 year old boys would go to that much effort to find out about girls! The plot is nothing very extraordinary but it speeds a long nicely with short chapters that entice you to say ‘just one more won’t hurt’ and the gentle humour and realistic conflict powers the story onwards. There’s no slowing of pace, nothing boring, just a lovely light hearted book. This is totally a beach read. It’s light and fluffy although it has a few difficult themes such as alcoholism. Although, you may have get so caught up in this sweet read that you forget you’re on holiday! One thing that amused me was how many books were discussed and recommend in its pages, The Rosie Project, Me Before You and The Flatshare to name but a few, and that endeared it to me even more! This was written by someone who loves reading as much as I do and that was fab. It won’t challenge you intellectually, it ain’t gonna win the Booker but if you’re looking for a drop of escapism, you’re in for a real treat here.
This delightful character study involves alternating chapters by Tom Harris, a 16-year-old student, and Maggie, a 70-year-old widow with a small farm. They meet at the local library and join forces to keep the branch from closing. The relationship that develops between the two is both touching and somewhat unexpected. Bella Osborne is an accomplished storyteller, and The Library is a heartwarming read.
alcohol-issues, angst, generations, protests, family-dynamics, friendship, small-town, rural, farm-animals, farm-equipment, dual-narrators, secrets, second-chance, bullies, social-isolation, loneliness, teens, seniors***** It all began with a chance encounter at the small local library. A septuagenarian self-sufficient farmer who minimizes contact with others except the Book Club and a teen who has a stressful home life but wants to learn how to talk with girls might seem like an unlikely pair to rescue each other. Together they learn to sort out their own lives and help others while rescuing their library from the greedy local Council. Engrossing. I requested and received a free temporary ebook from Aria & Aries/Aria via NetGalley. Thank you!
If you love books ( and you surely must as you are here ) you will really enjoy this one. Cross generations develop a friendship in the library. They are very well written characters and that is what you expect from any novel written by Bella. This is different to her usual books but one that you will love to read and not want to put it down. 5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this eARC
I’ve read a few of Bella Osborne’s over the last few months, and have quickly become a huge fan and have loved each and every one. But this one, The Library, may just be my favourite. What I loved most about this book is Tom and Maggie’s unlikely friendship. Tom is a misunderstood teenage boy whilst Maggie is a confident but lonely elderly lady. Maggie comes into Tom’s life at the right time and they are able to bond over the threatened closure of their local library, a place that is sacred to them both. I find the generational gap in their friendship is what brings them closer, they are able to learn from each other and support each other in different ways. And as it develops it throughout the book it brings a big smile to your face. The underlying story of the village library facing closure is unfortunately a situation that many are facing around the country and I think that this story brings this to people’s attention as well as showing that there is something that can be done about it. Our libraries are important to so many people. The fact that this book features farm life, for me, is an added extra bonus. It shows us the reader, as well as Tom in the story, the power of escape and fresh air. This book is heartwarming and feel good and I couldn’t help smiling throughout. I loved it! I can’t wait to read more from Bella!
Wow, what a fantastic book! I am a big fan of Bella Osborne's books and always want to read her books as soon as they are published. I was thrilled to receive an early preview copy of this book from Netgalley and the Publisher. This book is different to her usual style of Romantic Comedy. There's no romance, I would classify it as contemporary fiction. It is about real issues that affect people in real life, like loneliness, grief and feeling like you don't belong. The book centres around the Library where the protagonists Tom and Maggie meet for the first time. They form an unlikely relationship, despite being a teenager and a pensioner. I loved the characters of Tom and Maggie. It was very heartwarming to see how they helped and supported each other. The book highlights just how important Libraries are to a community. Having previously worked in a Library I know that they are not just a place to borrow books from. They are a place to meet up with other people, somewhere to study or learn something new via a course. There are book groups, toddler groups. You can use the computers, very important for people who don't have access to the internet at home. They are are a vital hub for the community. Sadly, as this book indicates, a lot of libraries are closing down. Maggie and Tom really around to drum up support to try and keep the library open. It was good to see the young and the old coming together to try and save it from closure. I also enjoyed the various literary references and book club discussions. I was familiar with a lot of the books that Tom and the book club were reading. I could relate to their thoughts. Once I had read a couple of chapters of this book I was drawn in, I didn't want the book to end. The book followed Tom and Maggie's storues in alternating chapters. It flowed seamlessly between the characters. It is very well written and I really enjoyed reading it, I found it captivating, I loved the storyline. There was both heart and humour. I am looking forward to seeing what Bella Osborne writes next
The Library author: Bella Osborne Aria & Aries, Aria Tom, a shy high school student, and Maggie, a seventy-two-year-old lonely widow, tugged at my heartstrings and I had to let them in. The levels of their unlikely friendship are multi-layered and meaningful. Osborne's beautiful story centers around these two souls who met through circumstances related to the Compton Mallow Village Library, built in 1837. Maggie and Tom both have connections to books. Tom's parents met at a Book Shop, and Maggie likes to escape through reading and visit the library for Book Club socialization. Their journey of friendship deepens as they find solace in each other's company through the library and at Maggie's farm. Each has qualities that don't appear on the surface, such as Maggie's love for yoga and farm life and Tom's enjoyment of romance novels and underlying resilience. The two share many talks over Lemon Drizzle Cake. As the friendship progresses, they grow and face personal trials as well as one surrounding their beloved library. This novel touched me in a profound way because of Osborne's rich character development of Maggie and Tom, allowing me to see within their souls and feel their bond. The lovely association of the library, literacy, books, and book club in the plot was a joy. Thank you to Net Galley and Aria & Aries, Aria for the advanced reader's copy and the opportunity to provide my unbiased review. #TheLibrary #NetGalley
This book is a gem! It’s a lovely, uplifting and heartwarming book, that also managed to bring tears to my eyes. Tom, aged 16, a lonely teenager with problems at home, strikes up an unlikely friendship with 72 year old Maggie in their local library. It’s a great read and I definitely recommend it. 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️