Book Title: The Last Chance Library
Author: Freya Sampson
Number of Pages: 336
The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson is a cozy read with eccentric characters who will do anything to save the Chalcot Library.
About the Book: The Last Chance Library
The last chance library, published on 31st August 2021 follows our main character June.
June Jones, who is the librarian of a sleepy English town, will do anything to stay away from the spotlight. Having had the anxiety to speak in front of a group of people, she prefers to be a quiet helper than to go out and socialize. This fear had led to her getting bullied when she was a teenager. Having had her best friend join the popular group, leaving June aside. She isn’t sure if anyone wants to befriend her. Leading to isolation and a lonely life even at the age of thirty.
The reason why June had to decide to work at the library was to preserve and cherish her mothers’ memory. She too was a librarian. After her demise, A grief-stricken June could not go and pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Even if it meant sacrificing the seat that she had secured at Cambridge University.
How can she sit back and let the same library get shut down by the councilmen? The library that she and her mother who died due to cancer, so cherished and adored?
Of course not. Despite all the threats to her job as a librarian, June decides to pass on secret information to FOCL. What is it you might ask? Friends of Chalcot library. It is a group, formed by the regular visitors of the townspeople, to protest, and rebel. – Which would hopefully change the mind of the government. Been warned against having any connections to the group, June isn’t quite sure if she wants to join. But her mother’s value and her memory of the library aren’t quite letting her stay still. So what does she do? She makes a fake Twitter account and keeps supplying information to the FOCL group. In the secret name of Mathilda.
Add her schoolmate to the list and she has a situation that is more exciting than her 30 years have been. Alex Chen is good-looking. and he is back in town to help his old father who is recovering. He might also have a crush on June. The whole village except June might know about it. Did I mention that he is a solicitor and that he might just be lending a hand in the protest? June’s assumption about his supposed girlfriend is not helping their case either.
So now, we see June, the protesters, Alex, as they bond with each other with a common goal in mind. And that is to save the Chalcot library. We follow them on their journey as they understand why the library is getting shut. And they also realize that there might be a different reason than a shortage of funds. A Reason why 6 libraries are closing across the country.
Suggested reading: Book Review: ‘Articleship Diaries’ by Akhil Manuel
The Last Chance Library Book by Freya Sampson: Review
When I read the blurb for The Last Chance Library, I thought it might be a novel that focused solely on romance. I am pleasantly surprised to find that it was so much more. This book also contains a slight mystery to it. The way the author grips readers’ attention and engrosses them in the story is quite admirable. Not only do we see characters interacting with each other, but we also see the development that June’s character goes through. From being shy and uncomfortable to protesting publicly and making connections with people. We see her coming out of her comfort zone in every sense.
Stanley was another inspiring character indeed, Being old and living in poor conditions, we as readers don’t see him complaining once. He and June, despite their age differences, have a bond that any reader would envy. Seeing the entire community coming together, sharing food, and cheering each other on, Made this a delightful book to read. Of course, this book does have dark parts to it, One of them being June’s grief, It still does not steer it to become overwhelmingly heavy.
Apart from that, Let’s not forget our charming characters like Vera who is a grumpy baker. Mrs. Bransworth, who has taken part in various protests in her life, and Chantal, a fiery 16-year-old. All bound by a common sentiment. Their love for the Chalcot library.
If you like a book that has new friendships, A love in-store, as well as a new way to see life altogether, then make sure to read The Last Chance Summer. You will not regret picking it up.
Book Review by Netra Surana