First book of the year and the first book review of the year! I bought this book back in November 2023 when I saw it on sale on the Kobo ebook store along with a bunch of other books that were also on sale. I glad I finally got around to reading this one. Let’s get into it.
The themes of this book are at times micro-targeted to me. It has a profound love for books and libraries, both of which are things I love. It also has a theme of how books can help people connect to each other and to themselves which I also love.
A lot of this books deals with characters who are dealing with some form of trauma or grief. Mukesh, a widower who lost his wife to cancer and withdrew into himself or Aleisha, the reluctant library worker who feels disconnected from the world, no friends and a family that’s distant.
I like how realistic the character portrayals in this book are. Interactions between characters feel grounded. The book doesn’t make the mistake of painting a fairy tale about how books and libraries can solve all our problems but instead shows them as a therapeutic tool for understanding one’s problems and how books and libraries can facilitate connection and community.
There were multiple points in the book where I found myself tearing up due to the portrayal of the situations and interactions between characters. Characters in this book often have an inner dialogue and those scenes paint a fuller picture of what these characters were feeling in any given situation. I felt what Mukesh or Aleisha were feeling, intensely so.
All in all, I am glad this is the first book I read this year. A strong start to the year and I am looking forward to whatever else is next as far as reading goes.