Curmudgeon? Why, yes, I am, thank you very much! 😠
Blurb: A heartwarming literary-themed novel about a woman who turns an ordinary red phone box into the littlest library in England and brings together a struggling town.
A little red telephone box full of stories, a chance to change her life…
Jess Metcalf is perfectly content with her quiet, predictable life. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, Jess’ life is turned upside down.
Determined to pick up the pieces, Jess decides it’s time for a new beginning. Unable to part with her grandmother’s cherished books, she packs them all up and moves to a tiny cottage in the English countryside. To her surprise, Jess discovers that she’s now the owner of an old red phone box that was left on the property. Missing her job at the local library, Jess decides to give back to her new community—using her grandmother’s collection to turn the ordinary phone box into the littlest library in England.
It’s not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their literary magic—bringing the villagers together… and managing to draw Jess’ grumpy but handsome neighbor out of his shell.
Maybe it’s finally time for Jess to follow her heart, let go of her old life, and make the village her home? But will she be able to take the leap?
Jess loses her beloved grandmother. Her job. There’s nothing to keep her in the town where she is so she sets off on the dream trip that she and her grandmother longed for on the coast. Because of her misbehaving car, she meet-cutes grumpy Aidan and accidentally views a home with possibilities and a phone box that seemingly has none in Poppy Alexander’s The Littlest Library.
The Littlest Library was both heart-warming and sometimes as dull as watching paint dry. Our MC Jess was super dependent on her grandmother so that by now as she’s in her early thirties, she’s done pretty much nothing. The impulsiveness that takes her to Middlemas is long overdue but still she wavers and too frequently draws on what her grandmother would have done rather than what she should do. Her tendency to jump to wrong conclusions and take a backseat grew annoying.
I loved the idea of a lending library in a phone box, filled with books that are loved. I also loved the idea that Jess’ grandmother had put sage advice or observations in each book that speak to particular members of the village who read the books. There was a huge opportunity to show how books draw people together through discussions and passion for the written word, but the author never really went that way, unfortunately.
The romance between Jess and Aidan was stagnant water.
The Littlest Library was by no means a bad book but for me it was just super slow reading that didn’t entice me to pick it up. (It was my simultaneous paperback read amongst so many eARCS.) There was a great deal that was predictable and I suppose that the reader is expected to just enjoy the meander. I don’t believe that with regard to books I am the meandering type. Anymore. If ever.
Read this one for the literary references, flowers, gardening, interesting gin concoctions, sweet kittens, and maybe the food.
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.