A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of Chartres. Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children’s librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man – but it’s her connection to his precocious young daughter and her neighbours’ son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.
Set in 1959 just before the Swinging Sixties this is a delightful read and I loved the way that Salley Vickers slowly draws the characters. She builds up the story slowly and as a reader you feel you are on the journey with Sylvia. The neighbours are great characters, particularly the twins and Sam who you’ll fall in love with. Miss Blackwell is named in the story after the librarian who influence Vickers as a young reader and the passion that Salley Vickers feels for libraries today oozes off the page. She sets the scene well and evokes the late 1950’s really well.
I’ll definitely be recommending this book who wants a great story, well written. A very enjoyable read.