Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Borrower by Rebecca Makai

The Borrower by Rebecca Makai
Reviewed for
For We Love This Book

Lucy is a clever girl with a good degree, so her parents don’t understand why she chooses not to gain a Masters or to use her father’s contacts to get a successful job. Lucy doesn’t really understand it either but she has effectively buried herself in books, accepting a job as a children’s librarian in Hannibal Missouri even though she hasn’t trained in Library Science and living in a run down apartment unable to let go of the stacks of books around her in case someone might want or need them.
Despite her attempt to run away from her own destiny Lucy discovers a vocation of sorts in Hannibal when she meets Ian a precocious ten year old with a high IQ and a passion for reading. Ian’s parents however are determined to shape his reading and his personality. They have enrolled their son in anti-gay classes and provided Lucy with a list of the kind of books they don’t wish him to read. Examples include anything to do with magic, witchcraft or the theory of evolution.
When Lucy discovers Ian camped out amongst the stacks early one morning they inadvertently run away together. This novel is a paean to the power of children’s literature and the importance of books for children that can inspire and assure when life can seem so confusing. Sweet but not saccharine, entertaining and warm, the writing is wonderful and the characters of Lucy and Ian will stay with you long after the last page.


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