Book Review: The little village library by Helen Rolfe

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 4/5


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 . . .

My verdict: Don’t let the cosy cover fool you this book deals with big themes such as domestic abuse, diabetes and estranged siblings as well as helicopter parenting, social media, break downs in a relationship all whilst trying to bring the community together.

Rolfe’s writing is very heartwarming and has a nack of handling big taboo subjects whilst keeping the majority of the narrative light and positive.

I loved how Rolfe explored the importance of communication with children and parents and how children are resilient and can handle more than they think. Rolfe also shows how overprotective parenting can result in parents pushing their kids away. I also applaud how Rolfe explored the life of a single parent, especially the father which is not often explored in domestic fiction.

Overall, the characters are likeable and the narrative interesting enough. For me I saw this as an easy quick read because I often tackle grittier books and for me it was some light relief.

My only criticism is that Rolfe at times romanticises the idea of a small village community but it doesn’t reflect the modern times we live in. The village seemed almost too perfect and at times was too sweet for my liking. Whilst it the narrative deals with things that our reflect modern day society it is sometimes seems through rose tinted glasses. This book is a perfect bit of escapism and encompasses the quintessential English country side life. A perfect read for those who are fans of the cottage core ideals and morals.

A nice cosy read. Perfect for a winters night with a hot water bottle and a cuppa. Fans of Carole Matthews and Jenny Colgan. This book will make you laugh, cry, fill you with warmth but the most important of all is to not judge people by their appearances and even though they look like they have the perfect life, if you scratched the surface you will find a Pandora’s box of secrets, desires, worries and feelings waiting to be unleashed. Moral of the story? There’s two sides to every story and sometimes it’s okay to want to start over again, but honesty is key as well as communication. However most importantly, is that we at times need to show our vulnerabilities and that a wide friendship circle is paramount. Finally, the narrative shows us that sometimes it’s okay to lean on them and vice versa.

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