Cover Image: The Library

The Library

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Member Reviews

This was a cute book... nothing overly memorable, but cute and entertaining. Great for book lovers that are looking for an easy read.
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If a book is about a bookstore or a library, then it’s going to be on my to-be-read list. And while the closing of the library is critical, the relationship that develops between Maggie, a 72-year-old widow, and Tom, a 16-year-old with an inferiority complex, is really the heart of the story. There are some heavy issues covered … alcoholism, grief, father-son relationships, trust. This book demonstrates that you can make a difference in someone’s life no matter what age.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: https://www.msladybugsbookreviews.com/. Over 1000 reviews posted!
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Two lonely bookworms. One is in high school. The other is an old lady.
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They find each other in a local small-town library in suburban England and become friends. Later almost a family.
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Tom lost his mother at a very young age. Currently, he lives with his alcoholic father. Maggie's husband died long ago. She tends to her farm and lives alone.
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Maggie starts to care for Tom like her own grandchild. Tim finds affection and comfort in someone long after his mother dies.
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But the Library where they met is shutting down. And they plan to save the dear place where they met.

A very refreshing read. I absolutely loved the subtle "Found Family" trope. Being an introvert myself, I could sympathize with Tom.

The book discusses loneliness, alcoholism, the despair of a motherless child, complex relationships, how stories and books save us and the importance of having a community library in a very chill manner.

Among all the anxiety-inducing works I do every day this book was a little corner of sweetness for me.
4/5 🌟
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Lovely feel good book to read. It was a joy to read. Lovely characters. Great plot. The book was charming. Very well written. I’d definitely recommend this book
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Tom and his father are both lonely and unhappy.
Maggie is happily alone but really lonely.

Tom and Maggie strike up an unlikely friendship when she punches him in the face.
Their friendship is at the heart of this story but it is also about the community in which they live and the library which is at its centre.
Our two heroes work together to save the library and come to realise that there are more things which are worth fighting for.

A lovely, unsentimental read.
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I always like reading books by this author and think this novel was far better than my last read… by a long way. I really enjoyed this one and thought the narrative was a perfect example of cosy escapism – what more could you want from a book?!

For sure, a book about a library is almost guaranteed to appeal to a self-confessed bibliophile but in this case, the library is the backdrop to two very lonely characters that had me reaching through the pages and giving them both a virtual hug. Both Tom and Maggie are at very different stages of their life but the similarities between them are striking. I loved how the library brought them together and I think this is Osborne’s nod to libraries across the world: their importance and the difference they make to so many people, whether it be through reading or the social element of the building.

Maggie’s story is heart-wrenching and her lonely confessions in her narrative were startling. I admired her strength and loved watching her grow over the novel, showing that regardless of age, there is always an opportunity to turn your life around. Living on her farm, Maggie is surrounded by what would seem an idyllic lifestyle: sheep, open space and her own boss. Yet, it is evident that Maggie is stifling in her loneliness and I enjoyed how Osborne gradually reveals more about Maggie’s background. Over the story, thanks to the alternating chapters between Maggie and Tom, readers learn so much about this aged character and I think the changes she undergoes made me warm to her even more.

In contrast, young Tom is gearing up to take his GCSEs but finds life at home to be trapping him in a way he feels he cannot escape. He is older beyond his years and the situation between Tom and his father was so poignant and emotive. Heading to the library literally opens doors for Tom and I was cheering for him throughout the story with the hurdles he faces. On the surface, you would not expect Tom and Maggie to become such close friends and the familial relationship that develops shows just how much each character needed one another – they just didn’t realise it. I think I also appreciated how Osborne subverts stereotypes with Tom’s character in his actions and reading choices, making him even more memorable in the story.

Throughout the story, there are plenty of references to novels – and I cheered when I had read so many of these that Osborne includes. (My ‘To Be Read’ pile can sigh with relief!) The characters that centre around the library are entertaining and I found Christine’s solution of making a poster for every crisis to be especially funny. The library becomes synonymous to the community and is a stark reflection of the reality of our own community libraries. I did wonder how the fate of the library would be decided and could not foresee how Osborne would resolve this, especially as it appeared inevitable that the actions of the community cannot prevent its closure. However, if I am honest, I became more invested in Tom and Maggie’s stories, forgetting a little bit about the library and what would happen. I think this is because I loved their characters so much.

Another memorable winner from Osborne and one I won’t forget in a hurry. It is the characters that make this story and I love how they are developed over the story with the library as the backdrop. Highly recommended.

With thanks to Aria books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This was really awesome read. I love the YA books about misfits, as I can really connect with the characters. The bond between the two main characters is beautiful. We do not see many platonic friendships in the mainstream media between a male and a female character, both in different phases of their lives.  The narration is crisp and bound to keep your attention. The book overall gives a very comforting vibe and feels like a warm hug, especially if you're feeling lonely.
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Really interesting book that has taught me a huge amount. It was a fun read with lots of brilliant passages that will stay with me. Highly recommended.
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What a book !
The reader is engaged from the start and doesn’t want to put it down . This was definitely one of my favourite reads of the year . I loved how the unlikely relationship between the characters Tom and Maggi grew and how they became a “found “ family 
Highly Recommended 
Thank you to Netgalley, Aria and Aries and Bella Osborne for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review
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Friendship across the generations.

5 Stars

Tom Harris thinks he’s invisible to the world. Except to bullies that is, they can always find him. When his father destroys his games console in one of his alcoholic rages, Tom decides to escape to the library to use their computers. He realises that he can’t simply turn up at the library every Saturday, without taking out some books, so he starts his adventures in reading, which stopped at the time his mother died.

Maggie Mann is a widow, in her seventies still running Providence Farm after her husband’s untimely death. Saturdays are the most important day in her life as she attends the book club held in the local library. 

When Maggie is knocked down by a person trying to snatch her bag, Tom comes to her rescue, only to get a punch in the nose by Maggie – she missed the thief’s face! A friendship develops between her and Tom and grows as there’s a threat that the council want to close the library and Tom has unsettling problems with his father.

Bella Osborne, you’ve created one of the most perfect, beautiful storylines capturing the true essence of friendships that can occur serendipitously. I loved every word, every character, every scene, especially the complicated one. Thank you! 

Elite Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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The Library is a heart-warming tale of friendship regardless of age, all over the topic of books.  Many Thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Overview:
The library needs saving, and it will take two different generations to do it. 
Tom is a teenager who is currently not happy with his future, and escaped to the library where he meets Maggie.
Maggie is a pensioner who is very much happy alone, but when Tom comes into her life with his friendship it can change her life- and prove that the library is not just about books but community. 

Review:
The initial thing that drew me to this story was the fact it was focused on an age divided friendship which has formed through a library- it just sounded extremely fluffy and I really wanted something heart-warming when I requested this- It delivered all of the feels as honestly there was a lot of depth to the story. It tackles some difficult topics such as alcoholism, death, grief, loneliness and more and it was done sensitively but effectively.  

The plot was well developed and the pacing was fantastic to keep me engaged, as opposed to eyes glazed over and reading for the sake of it!  
Characters- The development, the relationships- all just beautifully done and intricately woven together to give such a great story. Seeing Tom become closer to an adult throughout this was a genuine delight.

Final Thoughts,
An interesting tale of friendship and hope, with a beautifully written plot and characters and a heart-warming afterglow.
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Tom is a teenager who feels invisible. He doesn't have many friends and his home situation isn't as pleasant as it used to be. After the death of his mom, Tom and his father are just making it through each day. As things seem to deteriorate, Tom begins spending more and more time at the library. 

Maggie is a widow who lives on a farm. She attends the book club at the library for interaction with others, and the rest of the time she pretty much keeps to herself.

Tom and Maggie cross paths and an unlikely friendship forms. As Tom and Maggie get to know each other, they face challenges only they can help the other face. To further draw them together, they learn the library is at risk for closing. Tom and Maggie join forces with those around them to try to keep the library open.

I loved this story. I immediately loved Tom and Maggie and watching their relationship grow and their trust grow was the best part of this story for me. The storyline about the library and the other people in the story was a close second regarding what I loved about this story. I am so glad Bella Osborne wrote this story. It was just what I needed when I read it.

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book from Aria and NetGalley. All views are simply my honest opinion.
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“If she’d realised the last time she was hugged was significant she would have paid more attention, committed it to memory so she could recall the sensations at will for the many times since, when all she had needed had been for someone to hold her."

When Tom, a teenager, and Maggie, a pensioner, meet at a library, they recognise something in each other that will change both their lives forever. Then the library comes under threat of closure, and they must join forces to prove that it's not just about books – it's the heart of their community.

Told from both Tom and Maggie’s perspective, the surface story is about a small village community coming together to save their only asset - a place where people find solace from the adversity of their lives. Books bring Tom and Maggie to each other and the unlikeliest of friendships is formed between them. Through their friendship they are able to acknowledge their fears and help each other conquer them.

There is a sensitivity with which the story has been written and you feel the pain the characters experience in their journeys. Their rocky path to friendship is slow and awkward but you’re impressed by the steady progress they make.

There are light hearted moments too, such as when Tom’s addiction for romance novels is discovered. Or when he is roped in to be a farmhand – a job he is not prepared to handle.

You’ll find yourself rooting not only for the library to be saved, but Tom and Maggie, too. For when it comes to friendship, age has no bar.

A profoundly charming story of family, friendship, and new beginnings, this is a magic potion that will instantly lift your spirits.

This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Aria & Aries.
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Fabulous book that left me wanting more.  

Tom is a awkward teenager who lives with his dad.  He has no purpose in life until he decides to go to the small local library.  There he meets Maggie.  

Maggie is an elderly lady that owns a farm and enjoys her weekly visit to the book club in the library.  

Maggie and Tom have a lovely friendship and when they are told the local library is closing, they find ways to keep it open.  

It’s funny, sad at times and an exciting read.  The characters are easy to read and are engaging, just wanted to read more and more.  Highly recommend.  

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a copy for an honest review.
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The Library is a truly lovely story with an unlikely friendship between a 16-year-old boy called Tom and 72-year-old woman called Maggie at the heart of it. Tom is a socially awkward teenager who has lost his mum and Maggie is an fiery widow who lost her son - with so much relatable loss between them, it turns out they desperately need each other.

Although there are some heavy topics discussed throughout, I adored the sweet friendship and bond that formed between Tom and Maggie and I really enjoyed their alternating perspectives. Being a bookworm myself, I loved that the library played such a focal role in this story and was the thing that brought everyone together.

Thanks to Aria & Aries and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A beautifully written book. Really enjoyed reading this. Thanks to publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read
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You can’t go wrong with a book detailing a community’s fight to save their library in the UK.  The heartwarming and touching story centers on the relationship that develops between 72 year old Maggie and 17 year old Tom.  Maggie lives alone on a small farm; other than her weekly book club at the library, she is lonely and bored.  Tom’s mother died when he was younger, and his father became an alcoholic.  Tom looks to the library as a place of respite from his home.  The two meet and an unusual closeness develops which will impact both their lives.  I recommend this book, and thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read such a lovely story.
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Okay, this one was unexpectedly good. I really had fun reading this book. This is very heartwarming, reading this book feels like a hug. I believe readers need to talk more about underrated books. If you are on a reading slump or if you feel sad and lonely, I suggest you read this one!
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If you’re an eclectic reader like me, you’ll know that there are times when you need a break from the heavier stuff. When your weary brain demands something light and wholesome that you can simply relax and enjoy. The Library fits this bill perfectly, delivering a big-hearted story about serendipity and the often underestimated symbiosis between age and youth. 

Tom is 16 and full of teenage angst. Since his mum died, he’s lived alone with his still-grieving father, who has buried himself in the bottle. Tom’s world is small and troubled; the one chink of light the candle he holds for a girl at school. But she’s popular and unlikely to look at him twice. 

Maggie is 72 and farms an isolated smallholding. A former hippie, she’s eccentric, fiercely independent, and a devoted practitioner of yoga. But her faculties are slowly failing, and her tough exterior hides a deep inner sadness she’s kept hidden for 50 years. 

When Tom and Maggie’ paths cross in the local library, they strike up a tentative friendship. Maggie is there for her weekly book club. Tom is surreptitiously scoping out the romance section for some tips on girls. When the library comes under threat of closure, the two join forces to help spearhead the campaign to keep it open. 

I do love an intergenerational story about friendship, and this one was a delight, beautifully demonstrating how age is no barrier when it comes to affinity and fate. Tom and Maggie find each other at exactly the right time, filling a space — a need — in each other’s lives, and both end up being all the richer for it. 

It says a lot for author Bella Osborne that she manages to suffuse this tale with a rich vein of humor, which prevents it from becoming overly intense or mawkish. She gets the balance just right, and I finished it with a lovely, warm fizz of satisfaction.
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I just wanted a book that would make me smile and The Library was it. Of course, as a massive bookworm, the setting of the book is what drew me in initially. However, it was the charming story, warming characters, and strong sense of community that kept me there.

Tom and Maggie are a somewhat unlikely pair, but they gel so well, showing that there are no age bounds to friendship. Besides their love of books and desire to save the library, they also save each other from the lode they are currently living. This element of The Library does bring a deeper, sadder vibe to the story, but combined work everything else, the reader gets a heartwarming read.

The author did a great job of relaying the different feelings of the characters to the reader. We can all, more or less, relate when characters are feeling happy, but not so much when they are going through a hard patch and we haven’t experienced the same. Yet I felt so empathetic towards Maggie and Tom.
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