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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Review: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

Title: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances
Author: Rebecca Raisin

Publisher: 4th August 2022 by HQ

Pages: 384 pages

Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary, romance 

My Rating: 3.5 crowns


An uplifting story about fresh starts, new beginnings and the power of stories, from the bestselling author of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!

When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.

It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.

Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?

But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?

My Thoughts

I am a big fan of Rebecca’s Van Lifers series, having read about Tea, Books and Christmas stories. So I was eager to escape into what was sure to be another heartwarming tale that involved books and saving a library. 

‘What will a town without books look like? Where will those who seek comfort in reading go? What about those who find joy in walking along the colourful racks in search of a fictional friend?’

These reads are never about big plot twists, rather a collection of often quirky but lovable characters who work together and make a positive difference to communities. On this occasion it’s unique to see both the way the main character is inspired to save the library that allows author Rebecca to cleverly present tales of courage and affirmation. There is the requisite romance which is lovely, however, this is definitely more about community and learning from past mistakes. 

The one thing I simply adored about this book, working my highlighter overtime, was the absolute joy and love of reading that is regularly offered. Thank you Rebecca for so many confirming thoughts and affirmations about the importance of reading to bibliophiles who gained much reassurance that they are not alone in this solitary pastime. 

‘I do prefer books to people, but that’s a  bookworm prerogative, right? … the only place I’ve ever felt like me is when I’m reading.’

Whilst I am onboard for books such as this, I found things to be a little too syrupy on this occasion and found myself just wishing for that bit more. Everything worked out too cleanly and easily. So this book is definitely light, fluffy and swimming in feel good vibes. I appreciate the message Rebecca is trying to get across - not to judge a book (person) by the cover and giving space to learn of another’s story. Yet for me, it was all too well sorted and delivered. 

This is a book to read when you need reassurance that there is good out there in this world. That family and community can come together to right wrongs and make the world a happier place. It is sure to warm your heart and leave you the better for having read it. 

‘Reading is my happy place, my go-to where I can forget the world and relax no matter how short a time I have to get lost in the pages …. When I’m lost in a good book, I escape reality for hours on end and things don’t seem as hopeless. I can relate to a heroine in a bind, a woman whose life isn’t what she thought it would be. It makes me feel less alone, and how funny is it that my best friends are all fictional?’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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