The Library

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Pub Date 01 May 2022 | Archive Date 12 Jan 2022

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Two lonely bookworms. An unexpected friendship. A library that needs their help.

Teenager Tom has always blended 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.

Pensioner Maggie has been happily alone with her beloved novels for ten years – at least, that's what she tells herself.

When they meet, they recognise something in each other that will change both their lives for ever.

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.

They are determined to save it – because some things are worth fighting for.

eBook edition previously available on NetGalley 

Two lonely bookworms. An unexpected friendship. A library that needs their help.

Teenager Tom has always blended into the background of life. After a row with his dad and facing an unhappy future at...

Advance Praise

'A touching story of a friendship between a troubled teenager, a yoga-practising farming woman in her seventies and a local library. A delight!' – Sunday Times bestselling author Katie Fforde

'Such a heart-warming and thought-provoking novel! A touching tale of true friendship, overcoming adversity and the genuine joy books can bring to our lives' – Jill Mansell

'A touching tale that will warm your heart and put a smile on your face' – Hazel Prior

'A story that was deeply moving, and ultimately uplifting ... Definitely recommended – it was one of my best reads this year' – Janet Gover

'Heart-rending and inspiring in equal measures. A wonderful story. I adored it!' – Celia Anderson

'Beautifully and sensitively written, the characterisation is superb' – Sue Moorcroft

'Absolutely LOVED IT! It's Bella's best book yet! A glorious heartfelt novel' – Christie Barlow

'The Library is a beautifully uplifting story full of wit, warmth and tender moments, with community at its heart and characters you truly care about' – Cressida McLaughlin

'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!' – Talli Roland

'A truly special book, brimming with charm, heartwrenching moments and inspiring characters. The Library is one of those feel-good books that is sure to delight readers' – Carmel Harrington, author of The Moon Over Kilmore Quay

'A touching story of a friendship between a troubled teenager, a yoga-practising farming woman in her seventies and a local library. A delight!' – Sunday Times bestselling author Katie Fforde

'Such a...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781801100489
PRICE $15.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
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Average rating from 304 members

Featured Reviews

I read this in one afternoon. And I'm so sorry it ended. I loved Tom and Maggie. A beautiful story of family.

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This book was absolutely phenomenal! It was heartwarming and I loved it so much. I'm honestly at a loss for words b/c I don't know how to express how wonderful I think this book is.

The Library is definitely a contender for my favourite book of 2021.

Trigger warning for alcoholism.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Aria & Aries through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you, Aria & Aries!

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Yes yes yes! This book is a written hug.

I’m a huge fan of stories that let us watch character grow and the concept of found family, both are in abundance in this book.

The characters are imperfect but you can’t help by like and root for them.

There are laughs and tears throughout. One of my favs of 2021.

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Oh you sly little book you! I'm crying...this was such a lovely book. I LOVED Tom and Maggie and what they brought to each others lives. The story of community and family and the library! And the farm! Just..well after psychological thrillers and WW II books this was a nice dip into a small town, sending over some warm and fuzzies. 3 1/2 stars.

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What a lovely book, I was hooked from the very beginning. So far, this is my favorite book for 2021. And secretly I'm hoping for a second book with one of the characters from The Library, perhaps Christine the library lady, or the farmer who lives on his own near Maggie.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book.

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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!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Aria Fiction for a free digital copy.

This book is a DELIGHT. I requested it on Netgalley on a whim and it worked its way into my favorite books of the year so far. It's not my usual genre, but it's so heartwarming that I couldn't put it down.

Tom is a 16 year old boy being raised by his alcoholic father after his mom years ago. He likes a girl, but doesn't know how to talk to her. He seeks guidance at his local public library in the romance section. There he meets Maggie, a 72 year old independent lady, who frequents the library weekly for book club and runs her own farm. When the library is threatened to be closed, it propels these acquaintances into an unlikely friendship. These two form a bond that goes beyond what you would expect, but it's because they are both what the other needs.

If you love sincere characters that are sweet but not too much so, you will enjoy this book that is not just about a library, but about finding your family and where you belong.

Content Warning: Alcoholism, Death of a Parent, Bullying

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The characters are interesting, flawed, and draw you right in. Osborne successfully navigates not only the very different perspectives, but also the very different voices of a 16-year-old boy and a 72-year-old woman. The plot is perfectly paced and both entertaining and heartwarming. I highly recommend it.

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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.

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As a librarian, this book hit me in the heart. I loved how the library was the connection between the two main characters and how it helped them both. The characters were great and I really felt for them with their struggles. I was satisfied with the ending, but felt it was a little depressing that the library wasn't completely "saved" and recognized as important in the eyes of the public officials.

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This is a lovely heartwarming story - my favourite sort! Tom is 16 and lives with his dad and is struggling with living without his mum. Maggie is in her 60's and lives a quiet life doing the same things each week and the highlight of the week is going to the Library for book club. Tom and Maggie form a lovely friendship and develop a lovely unexpected friendship. Such a lovely book makes you feel happy again !

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'The Library' by Bella Osborne focuses on the lives of Tom, a young boy completing his GCSE's, and Maggie an elderly small holding owner. Both are lonely and struggling with losses in their lives, but find support from each other and a sense of purpose from visiting their local library.

Told from alternating perspectives, 'The Library,' is a very enjoyable read. The characters have depth, and whilst there is often a great deal of humour, it deals with some serious subjects. At times, I did find myself questioning some of the farming practices mentioned, and a little irritated by some of the characters refusal to communicate their feelings to one another, but these were small niggles (and in the case of the poor communication probably more truthful to real life). Both Tom and Maggie were equally rounded, and neither were perfect. However, I particularly liked the way Maggie's strength and resilience was placed squarely alongside her vulnerability by Osborne.

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A charming, light-hearted novel about a teenage boy, a library, and the relationship he develops with one of the library’s older patrons.

I loved this novel. It was so sweet and real. Tom, unfortunately, has a very sad upbringing – losing his mother and having a father struggling with alcohol. Then he meets Maggie, a 70-year-old, former flower child who runs a farm and is thrilled to hang out with him.

This story is touching and addresses many difficulties in relationships and life. Tom’s written well as a teenager and Maggie is a spitfire (like my grandma). I love both of the characters and related to their relationship, as well as their connection to the library.

Thank you Netgalley and Aria & Aries for this ARC. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would like to do it as a book club book after its release (thanks for the questions at the end). I will also enjoy reading other novels by Bella Osborne.

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Bella Osborne is become one of my favourite authors. I really enjoyed this book. Thanks for the opportunity to read & review this book.

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A book for book lovers. The people who know the power of the library and the community it can build.

The initially unlikely relationship between Tom and Maggie is heartwarming and delightful, and seeing them both grow as people was so well done.

High marks for this cozy book, with a touch of drama and personal issues that are all worked through and resolved by the end.

4.5 stars.

Thank you to Aria Fiction and NetGalley for the complimentary electronic copy of this book for review.

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This book was so incredibly cute! I didn’t expect to like it, especially after reading the first couple of chapters. However, the characters were SO likable and adorable. The premise of the story wasn’t exceptionally unique, a small town library needed saving, but the relationships between the characters as well as their development were top notch.

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Loved this book! Set in a small English village with a cast of society's misfits (aka real people) this book revolves around friendships among the most unlikely people, the power of love and kindness and what a small community can accomplish when led by a small group of committed people!

This book has all the feels and leaves you warm feelings every time it crosses your mind!! Bella has a new fan!

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Tom, a high school student with a difficult home life, meets Maggie, an elderly woman who spends her free time at the local library. They develop a beautiful friendship and support each other through life!

Such a fun read that gives you warm and fuzzies while also touching on heavier, more serious topics. These topics get the treatment that they deserve but the emotions of this read are so tangible! Bella Osborne has such a way with words.

Many thanks to Bella Osborne, Aria & Aries, and NetGalley for this ARC!

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There's been a surplus on books about libraries lately, and I've been loving it! This one is about a library in a small town in the UK. With the possibility of it closing down, a teenage boy and a 72 year old hippie join forces to help save it.

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Thank you NetGalley for a chance to read this Ebook. I loved it!! What a heartwarming story about two unlikely people that meet and become friends helping each other heal from their past and present issues. Maggie, a young, older person is everyones dream grandma, but she has a secret and Tom, a sweet, good hearted teen that is living a nightmare, team up together to help save the local library and each other. Told alternately by Tom and Maggie. I highly recommend this book and will strongly suggest it to my book group.

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