The Last Library – Freya Sampson

June Jones, had bigger plans but life got in the way. Her mother fell ill and she came back home and cared for her to the end. She then ended up working in the library her mother did and that is where she has stayed ever since.

Following the same routine, journey and working day, June Jones is stuck in a rut. Even the local Chinese takeaway know exactly what her order will be. However when the library is threatened with closure and her boss is determined that June stops the stripper at her daughters hen night – June is suddenly thrust into the spotlight and it is going to take some getting used to.

With a library full of characters, Stanley a regular visitor to read the paper and do the crossword, Grumpy Vera seems to never had a good word to say about anyone, Mrs B itching for another protest and fight, a teenager escaping her busy and crowded home and young children there is plenty of people to fight the library closure. June cannot be one of them though, until she hits upon an idea.

Whilst of course the crux of the book is to save the library, there is the start of a relationship with an old friend of June’s from school days. That didn’t quite hit the spot for me, I couldn’t feel any connection between the two of them and felt it was all rather forced and progressed simply to aid the story. However, the incident at the hen night was horrifying to read and I felt for June, that I cried with her during the humiliation and was glad when karma seemed to find its way to the right people. Women can be particularly cruel to those that don’t fit in, like June and having been on the receiving end it was rather enlightening to see it in this book.

This is a great debut, there are clearly plot strands and characters stronger than others, and of course you can perhaps see how the story was going to progress. That said, I would still like to see what the author comes up with next.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

The Last Library is out now.