Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
A really solid book. The only reason that I didn’t give this 5 stars is that things started getting a wee bit repetitive regarding Jess’s need to get a job and her ongoing thoughts surrounding Aiden. And I thought that some things about Jess’s personality were not 100 percent consistent throughout. We know that she has a hard time maintaining friendships and getting out of her comfort zone, so it felt a bit off that she decided to start buttng in on people’s lives. What was lovely though is that Jess finds a place she can call home in Middlemass and finds herself some other friends outside of her long-term friendship with her best friend Hannah. I loved the discussion about books. And I really wanted a library in my backyard that is installed in an old telephone box.
“The Littlest Library” follows Jess Metcalf. Jess is reeling from losing her job at a library and the loss of her grandmother Mimi, months earlier. Jess is at a crossroads when she decides to take a car trip to get out of Bourton-on-the-Marsh and ends up in the village of Middlemass. She gets stranded and comes across a cottage for sale with a telephone box in front. Before she knows it, Jess puts down an offer and moves out of her grandmother’s old home to start anew in Middlemass. Jess starts trying to fix up her new home but keeps running across her neighbor (who irks her) Aiden and his daughter. But she also meets some of the other villagers like Diana, Mungo, Paddy, and Becky who start to fill in some of the spaces she has let go empty for so many years. When Jess somehow ends up agreeing to run a library out of the telephone box in front of her house, she finds herself more fulfilled than she has been in years.
All in all a lovely story. I liked Jess a lot. She loves books, and turns her head to building up her beautiful garden. The book follows her over several months and you get to see her changing and her yearning for something more with Aiden though it looks like that may be out of the cards.
The book’s main tension is that some in the village don’t want the library and Jess has to decide what she is going to do about it, and what is she going to do about finding a job.
The other characters are delightful and I loved all of the goings on with everyone. I did say above that Jess sticking her nose in and being judgmental of some people does creep up now and again, but she’s quick to realize she’s doing it.
The writing was great. Alexander really does make you feel like you are in the middle of an English village living in a cute cottage. This book did make me miss summer, but also the month of September.
I loved the ending. It’s a quiet thing and you can guess at what happens next.