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The Library at the Edge of the World

The Library at the Edge of the World

Author(s): Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Location(s): West Ireland

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Contemporary

After divorcing her cheating husband, 51-year-old Hanna Casey finds herself living back home in the Irish countryside with her overbearing mother. Having Hanna lived a sophisticated life in London while she was married, she has to reaccustom herself to the slower pace of life in the small town of Lissbeg on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, where she grew up. As her daughter, Jazz, travels the world working for an airline, Hanna earns a living as the town librarian. Focused on creating a home of her own, and embarrassed by her marriage break-up, she finds it difficult to make friends and resists new romance. But when a group of bureaucrats comes up with a tourism plan that will involve closing her library, she becomes the reluctant leader of a campaign to save it. And as she gets more involved in the lives of people in her community, she begins to realize that Lissbeg isn’t just any other town—it’s her home.

Bursting with lovably wacky characters (most notably the cantankerous builder Fury O’Shea), this novel, the first in the “Finfarran” series, creates a richly drawn world. Although the characters are charming, the Irish author presents a realistic view of what it’s like to live in a small town where employment opportunities are slim. Those seeking an adventure-filled thrill ride should look elsewhere, but readers searching for a slow-paced, gentle look at small-town Ireland will find a lot to love.

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