I’m a sucker for any story about the packhorse librarians. Blame it on my eastern Kentucky roots or the fact that I love the idea of handing out books to everyone in the world, but I will almost always want to read a story about these fascinating librarians of our history. This novella collection gave four stories of librarians in different settings.
“Love’s Turning Page” tells the story of Grace and Anthony. I loved how each caused the other to grow throughout the story, stretching their perspectives. Sometimes I struggle with how fast-paced novellas have to be, but this one was actually decent. I loved how Grace’s family welcomed Anthony and how he just became part of their group.
“In This Moment” tells Ruth and Will’s story, which was lovely. I enjoyed their interactions with each other as well as with the community. The shared history made for such a sweet tale and I loved the way the author worked the ending.
“Book Lady of the Bayou” is Lily Bee and Lamar’s story. I low-key loved this pairing AND this setting. Perhaps because I had just finished another book I loved that was set in Louisiana and my heart hadn’t quite left yet, but I wanted SO MUCH MORE of this story. I needed a full-length novel. I enjoyed what I was given, but man. I would have loved a slow, sweet development between Lamar and Lily Bee. I really enjoyed these characters and wanted to know more about them, especially Lamar and Evie and Maude and Mary and Joseph and the bayou people. There was just so much there to dive into and I felt a little robbed because we weren’t given the time to develop much depth. But this one was my favorite of the novellas for that very reason! It made me want more from the story.
“The Lawman and the Librarian” tells of Clay and Lottie’s story. I loved the setting and the idea of this novella. There was also a plot twist that I did not see coming, but I greatly appreciated! I also feel this novella could have been more fleshed out if it had been a novel rather than a novella, but it handled the time it was given well, so it felt more fast-paced than rushed.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed these stories! I recommend them for anyone who is fascinated by packhorse librarians or who enjoys shorter works of historical fiction. It’s available on October 1st.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. All expressed opinions belong to me.
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How am I supposed to choose?! We have some excellent offerings here. Though if I HAVE to pick, I’d probably go with Clay. He’s driven and his heart doesn’t falter. And in the end, he knows what matters and what doesn’t. And that’s a gift.