Monday, November 14, 2011

The Borrower

Lucy Hull is a twenty-six year old Russian-American woman who graduated from Mount Holyoke with an English degree. At the end of college, she broke up with her boyfriend and systematically worked her way down a list of connections provided by the Career Development Office. That's how she ends up as the unlicensed children's librarian in a town in Missouri, working for an alcoholic director and feeling utterly alone.

p. 8: "At twenty-six I was the head children's librarian only because I was willing to work more hours than the other two (much older) women, Sarah-Ann and Irene, who seemed to see the library as some kind of volunteer work, like a soup kitchen.
'We're so lucky they give us their time,' said Loraine. Which was true, as they were often busy remodeling entire rooms. I was four years out of college, had started biting my nails again, and was down to two adult friends. I lived alone in an apartment two towns over. A simple maiden lady librarian."

Good, but I found I enjoyed the first third of the book far more than the remaining two thirds. Something about what could have been her standoffishness came across as a lack of character depth. She was so unknowing about why she was doing what she did that I had trouble following her actions with empathy--along the lines of, "if she doesn't know why she's doing what she's doing, then how can I understand her motives?" I spent time wishing that there was an omniscient narrator who could shed light on her views.

But still, it's definitely a good book and well worth the reading. Enjoy!

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