The Librarian (Paperback)
  • The Librarian (Paperback)
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The Librarian (Paperback)

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Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 01/11/2018
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Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for November 2018

‘[It] will wring the heart of anyone who fell in love with books as a child. It is a hymn to the power of children’s literature.’ – The Times

A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of Chartres.

Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children's librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems.

Sylvia falls in love with an older man, but it is her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours' son which will change her life, putting them, her job and the library itself under threat.

How does the library alter the young children's lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?

A work of fiction that also reflects Salley Vicker’s own lifelong love of literature, The Librarian brims with references to favourite novels from childhood onwards (readers will appreciate the accompanying list of all the fiction mentioned in the book).

Carrying echoes of Penelope Fitzgerland’s The Bookshop and Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, it’s a book about love, education and the relationship between an individual and a community. Most of all, however, it is a book about the ways in which reading can shape and foster a life.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241330234
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 277 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A period tale of sentimental education, it's deliciously readable, with a clever epilogue zooming into the present day for a last-gasp surprise.' - The Daily Mail

‘Vickers has a formidable knack for laying open the human heart... a layered family drama’ - The Sunday Times

‘Utterly compelling... Cousins is a remarkable book about the strange tact and terrors of family life and the histories that haunt it’ - Adam Phillips

‘Each distinct voice in this complex pattern of relationships is presented with deep empathy and clarity, so that you feel a real three-dimensional quality in the characters. The most painful ethical dilemmas are laid out with compassion and without manipulation. A serious, mature book that is also compellingly enjoyable.’ - Rowan Williams

‘A wonderful book. Salley Vickers spins a spellbinding account of a family in distress’ - Elizabeth Strout

‘A story of secrets, lies and history is elegantly handled... She lays bare the inner workings of one family, possibly every family, with an often disconcerting clarity’ - The Times

‘If you're a fan of Marilynne Robinson, you'll love this...a dark and gritty read’ - The Sunday Times

‘No one can dig down into the shrouded recesses of the human heart quite as forensically as Vickers.’ - The Sunday Times

‘This is a highly charged novel you'll find hard to put down...The novel raises important issues about motherhood and family connections, and examines the survivor's guilt felt by many of the characters that helps to drive the painful resolution.’ - The Sunday Express

‘Vickers ponders undercurrents that swirl down the ages...Vickers commitment to the realism required by fictional memoir...a fascinating exploration of the often equivocal and always cryptic nature of family love’ – The Guardian

‘A psychologically acute case study.’ - The Mail on Sunday

‘A story of a family rocked by tragedy.’ - The Daily Mail

‘One of our best women writers... Cousins is a towering tale of three generations of the Tye family, spanning 70 years.’ - Reader's Digest

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Linda Hepworth

“A reflective story.”

In 1958 twenty-four-year-old Sylvia Blackwell takes up the post of Children’s Librarian in the run-down library of a small market town. She is passionate about improving this section of the library and about... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 60

“A charming read”

Set in the 1950s, a young librarian, Sylvia Blackwell, comes to run the children’s library in the small town of East Mole. Her arrival and relationships with several local children open their minds to literature but... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 54

“A plea for libraries and Children's books”

This novel reminded me a lot of Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop. In both books a young woman goes to a small town with a small mind and tries to introduce its inhabitants to the wonders of literature, not... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 51

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