Monday, June 18, 2018

A library is a small town.

Back when Andrew Carnegie was building public libraries in every city across America, the town of Riverton, NH, had its own mogul, whose name was Robers, which morphed into "Robbers" through probably equal parts humor and resentment. In Sue Halpern's latest, Summer Hours at the Robbers Library,the town barely hangs on, but the library is now its best-maintained building. Halpern brings together three oddball characters in this setting and follows them through their encounters with multiple points of view. There is librarian Kit, fresh from therapy following marriage to a controlling monster, Solstice (Sunny), a teenager whose parents live off the grid and hide a secret past, and Rusty, a fugitive from Wall Street. When Sunny is assigned community service at the library after being arrested for shoplifting, she soon connects with Kit and Rusty. Readers will be taken with this beautifully written novel with appealing characters
.Halpern subtly tests our assumptions about self, love, marriage, family, vocation, and ethics, both personal and communal. Along the way, she offers a realistic view of the struggles and triumphs of a small public library, while framing it as a safe place in which to search for answers and solace. 

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