Wednesday 20 January 2021

Guest Review: The Little Village Library by Helen Rolfe

It takes a village...

Cloverdale is known for its winding roads, undulating hills and colourful cottages, and now for its Library of Shared Things: a place where locals can borrow anything they might need, from badminton sets to waffle makers. A place where the community can come together.

Jennifer has devoted all her energy into launching the Library. When her sister Isla moves home, and single dad Adam agrees to run a mending workshop at the Library, new friendships start to blossom. But what is Isla hiding, and can Adam ever mend his broken past?

Then Adam's daughter makes a startling discovery, and the people at the Library of Shared Things must pull together to help one family overcome its biggest challenge of all . . .

A heartwarming story about the kindness we can find when we least expect it, and the places we learn to call home.

Review: I have become quite a fan of Helen Rolfe’s writing, having read some of her festive stories over the Christmas period. I was attracted by the title of this particular book, and then by its lovely cover, that speaks of a charming country village. I was totally hooked by the story right from the start, and although it was much more serious than I was expecting, it kept my attention to the very end. I will certainly be looking out for more from this author.

At the beginning of the book, we meet Adam Parker, who has moved with his son and daughter to the little village of Cloverdale. Following an initial move from Australia to London, Adam has moved his family to this little village for a better quality of life. On a visit to the Cloverdale library, Adam learns that local resident Jenny is in the process of setting up an extension to the facilities - the Library of Shared Things. This is a place where members of the community can borrow useful items, from bread makers to chain saws, for a small cost. In an effort to get involved in neighbourhood activities, Adam offers his help with the project. At the same time, the locals, particularly a few of the ladies, take an interest in him. They want to know why he has moved his children half way around the world and where is his wife. Unbeknown to him, the rumour mill is turning, and it could spell danger for the Parker family. In the meantime, it is not only Adam who is seemingly hiding a secret; there is tension among some of the other villagers as well.

I thought that this was a really compelling story with something for everyone - drama, romance, humour and mystery. Although the title and cover suggested a cosy tale, there were some serious issues within the pages for many of the characters, not just Adam. While Adam and his family were the central characters in the book, there were a number of other strong players, each with their own storylines. The secret that Adam was hiding was hinted at all the way through the story, never being quite revealed until almost the very end; such skilful writing. I did guess what it was, but not until well into the book. I thought the concept of the Library of Shared Things was quite intriguing. I would thoroughly recommend this book to other readers.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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