The Library at the Edge of the World (Finfarran #1)
A warm, feel-good novel about the importance of finding a place where you belong - perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy.Local librarian Hanna Casey is wondering where it all went wrong ... Driving her mobile library van through Finfarran's farms and villages, she tries not to think of the sophisticated London life she abandoned when she left her cheating husband. Or that she's now stuck in her crotchety mum's spare bedroom.With her daughter Jazz travelling the world and her relationship with her mother growing increasingly fraught, Hanna decides to reclaim her independence. Then, when the threatened closure of her library puts her plans in jeopardy, she finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of the fragmented community. Will she also find the new life she's been searching for?

The Library at the Edge of the World (Finfarran #1) Details

TitleThe Library at the Edge of the World (Finfarran #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 14th, 2017
PublisherHachette Books Ireland
Rating
GenreFiction, Cultural, Ireland, Writing, Books About Books, Contemporary, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Audiobook, Adult Fiction

The Library at the Edge of the World (Finfarran #1) Review

  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    When Hanna Casey discovers that her husband, a hard-hitting London attorney, has been having a twenty-year-long affair, she packs up her teenage daughter Jazz and flees to her childhood home - a purple cottage on the Finfarren Peninsula of Ireland. Hanna (foolishly) demands nothing in the divorce 😒, and financial constraints make it necessary for her to live with her mother. This is difficult because Hanna's mother, Mary Casey, is a thorny woman who disapproved of Hanna's marriage and has a smug When Hanna Casey discovers that her husband, a hard-hitting London attorney, has been having a twenty-year-long affair, she packs up her teenage daughter Jazz and flees to her childhood home - a purple cottage on the Finfarren Peninsula of Ireland. Hanna (foolishly) demands nothing in the divorce 😒, and financial constraints make it necessary for her to live with her mother. This is difficult because Hanna's mother, Mary Casey, is a thorny woman who disapproved of Hanna's marriage and has a smug 'I told you so' attitude.Hanna has a degree in library science, and becomes head librarian in the town of Lissberg. In this capacity, Hanna oversees activities in the library building AND drives the library van (bookmobile) up and down the peninsula a couple of times a week. During these jaunts, Hanna stops at schoolhouses and senior daycare centers - where the residents celebrate her visits with homemade cake. Though Hanna is cordial - and helpful to the borrowers - she's a reserved woman, with no interest in small talk or gossip. Hanna's part-time assistant at the library is Conor - an enthusiastic young farmer who needs the extra money to help his family. Conor thinks the library should host book clubs and meetings, but Hanna nixes the idea - wanting to keep a buffer between herself and the general public. When Hanna's out with the bookmobile, though, young moms gather in a comfortable nook.....and who knows what they talk about. 😊After Jazz grows up, finishes school, and becomes an airline hostess, Hanna feels the time is right to get her own place. As it happens, Hanna's Aunt Maggie left her a dilapidated old clifftop house, and - to the dismay of her mother - Hanna announces she's going to renovate the old junker and move in. Hanna gets a loan from the credit union and prepares to start her project. News of this undertaking spreads through the peninsula like wildfire, and an eccentric jack-of-all-trades named Fury O'Shea shows up at Hanna's fixer upper with his dog ('the divil') and appoints himself Hanna's builder. Fury borrows a couple of goats to clear the overgrowth, and proceeds to take charge of the restoration. Hanna gives instructions, Fury ignores them.....and their tug-of-war is quite entertaining. Lest you think this is the beginning of a flirtation between Hanna and Fury, think again.....because attraction lies in another direction. When Hanna needs information about building codes and permits, she stops by the Planning Office and meets Brian - who provides the necessary particulars. Hanna and Brian's friendship gets off to a rocky start, but before long the seeds of a (glacially slow) romance are sowed. 💖 The book is not a romance however. It's the story of a community that works together for a better future. During a civic meeting Hanna learns that the city council is about to consider a plan that would use ALL the peninsula's public funds to benefit a small area.....and put money in the pockets of businessmen and politicians. Wanting to help the entire peninsula - and keep her job - Hanna goes into action. She spearheads a movement that would attract tourists, grow heirloom plants, and bring people together. This leads to friendship and fun - and perks for Hanna's future cottage.I enjoyed the story, the ambiance of coastal Ireland, and the wide array of characters - including humans, goats, and the divil 🐶 - who made me laugh. I think many readers would like this book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
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  • Dale Harcombe
    January 1, 1970
    Who could resist a book with the title of a library at the edge of the world? Not me. The story revolves around Hanna Casey. After separating from her cheating husband, Hanna, in her early fifties, ends up living with her mother on the outskirts of a town in Ireland where she grew up. Her daughter Jazz has a job with an airline company and spends her time flying around the world, coming back every now and then to visit her mother and grandmother or at other times visiting her father in London. H Who could resist a book with the title of a library at the edge of the world? Not me. The story revolves around Hanna Casey. After separating from her cheating husband, Hanna, in her early fifties, ends up living with her mother on the outskirts of a town in Ireland where she grew up. Her daughter Jazz has a job with an airline company and spends her time flying around the world, coming back every now and then to visit her mother and grandmother or at other times visiting her father in London. Hanna has a job as librarian in the Finfarran Peninsula community. This is a far cry from the lifestyle she lived while married to Malcolm. But given the shortage of jobs in the area, she knows she is lucky to have a job at all. As she drives her mobile library van around the area, Hanna tries to keep herself aloof from the people and even those she works with at the library, like Conor. But then events conspire to change her way of looking at life and of the people around her.This is a charming, feel good story. The setting was stunning and the characters were interesting. Even though she can be prickly, I felt sorry for Hanna. Her mother Mary Casey is an aggravating character. No wonder Hanna could not contemplate continuing to live with her and decides to renovate the old house left to her by her great aunt Maggie. Some of Hanna’s interactions with Fury, the builder, are classic. There is a hint of romance in the novel, but it is not the main focus. Basically this is a book about relationships, community and working together. I enjoyed this charming read that leaves the reader feeling in a good place.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a bit hard to get into and rather slow-going at times; a lot of characters to keep track of and not all of them were fun to spend time with. I was especially annoyed that the main character, a trained librarian, was opposed to providing her community with the most basic of library programming and services -- she was against book clubs, for heaven's sake. No wonder her library was threatened with closing. Maybe libraries are different in Ireland than they are here in the U.S., but her at This was a bit hard to get into and rather slow-going at times; a lot of characters to keep track of and not all of them were fun to spend time with. I was especially annoyed that the main character, a trained librarian, was opposed to providing her community with the most basic of library programming and services -- she was against book clubs, for heaven's sake. No wonder her library was threatened with closing. Maybe libraries are different in Ireland than they are here in the U.S., but her attitude was baffling to me as a librarian. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Desiree
    January 1, 1970
    It sure is a feel good book and I especially enjoyed the setting in a small town Ireland. It sounds like a lovely community. The ending is okay as all goes well, but I feel like there are some few loose ends that need to be tied. I guess there will be a sequel to this. I can’t seem to connect to Hanna most of the time and I don’t think it’s because of the age. There are also a lot of characters that it got so confusing to follow who is who. It started painfully slow for my liking that I find mys It sure is a feel good book and I especially enjoyed the setting in a small town Ireland. It sounds like a lovely community. The ending is okay as all goes well, but I feel like there are some few loose ends that need to be tied. I guess there will be a sequel to this. I can’t seem to connect to Hanna most of the time and I don’t think it’s because of the age. There are also a lot of characters that it got so confusing to follow who is who. It started painfully slow for my liking that I find myself skimming some pages because it fails to catch my interest. The conflict came later on in which I feel like a good quarter of the book can be shed off.It is well-written, though, and the main reason that I keep reading. That and the second half of the book is so much better that I managed to get through it until the end. From the numerous characters, there are some whom I enjoyed reading than the others. Sister Michael, a nun in the convent, and Fury, the carpenter who’s fixing Hanna’s cottage, both of them helped Hanna save the library and the community. There’s a hint of romance, too, which is not really the focus of the story, which I like. I also love how everyone banded together to save not only the library but the whole community. With all that, I’d say it is still a good read overall. It just needs the kind of reader who will enjoy not only the writing style but also the lovely setting in Ireland.
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  • Hannah (Lemonade Library)
    January 1, 1970
    Putting this one down early. I cannot stand the main character! I thought with us both being librarians I would really enjoy this but she seems to really hate her job! Perhaps it all changes in the end but I don’t care to find out.
  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, what an absolutely wonderful book for every book lover on earth! I adored this story of a public library, a woman starting over, family, friends and community set in rural Ireland. The setting is fabulous, the people make my heart happy and the storyline of a librarian saving a library makes this school librarian jump for joy. Thanks a million to the publisher for sending me a complimentary review copy of this title! Now, if all of that makes me so happy, just IMAGINE how excited I was to fi Oh, what an absolutely wonderful book for every book lover on earth! I adored this story of a public library, a woman starting over, family, friends and community set in rural Ireland. The setting is fabulous, the people make my heart happy and the storyline of a librarian saving a library makes this school librarian jump for joy. Thanks a million to the publisher for sending me a complimentary review copy of this title! Now, if all of that makes me so happy, just IMAGINE how excited I was to find out that this is actually the first book in a series that was originally published in Ireland and is just now coming to the US from Harper Perennial! AND, the next 2 books in the series are available to buy in the US through Book Depository, so of course I ordered them immediately and can now binge read them the moment they arrive! YAY! The US cover is VERY different from the Irish covers ~ the Irish covers are very much in the "English cozy" style with illustrations and curly cutesy font. Both are great, but I do think this photographic cover will do amazingly well here in the states!
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  • Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
    January 1, 1970
    Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!I've been feeling stuck when browsing my shelves for my next read, so I've gravitated towards books that are more inside my reading comfort zone. The Library at the Edge of the World was a perfect choice for me this month as I navigate this season of life & reading. As the title suggests, this is a book for book lovers, but also a book for those feeling adrift in the Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!I've been feeling stuck when browsing my shelves for my next read, so I've gravitated towards books that are more inside my reading comfort zone. The Library at the Edge of the World was a perfect choice for me this month as I navigate this season of life & reading. As the title suggests, this is a book for book lovers, but also a book for those feeling adrift in their own communities and are searching for belonging.The Library at the Edge of the World follows a middle-aged woman named Hanna Casey. While at first glance, Hanna's life may seem picturesque -- a local job as head librarian in her hometown on the gorgeous cliffs of Ireland -- Hanna's life is a bit of a mess. She lives with her aging mother, is always missing her own teenage daughter while she's out exploring the globe, and resents her ex-husband for ruining the life she had built before their divorce. Hanna hadn't planned to live in her struggling hometown of Finfarran -- but when she found her husband in bed with a family friend, thus revealing a twenty-year affair, Hanna uprooted her socialite London life to recuperate in the safety of her childhood home. Now, she's tired of her reserved life and wants a fresh start. An inheritance in the form of a dilapidated cottage presents Hanna with an opportunity to create the home that she's desperately in need of, and gives her an opportunity to put down roots in a community that she's held at arms length.While the premise of this book is nothing new -- a broken relationship, the need to start over, and a project for the main character to use as therapy -- I really enjoyed reading this story. I loved the unfamiliar setting, and found myself pining for a trip to Ireland to see the gorgeous views that are described throughout. I also liked the rhythm of this story. It was a slower read for me, and more gentle than many of the books I've read lately. I liked rooting Hanna on as she found her footing and gained independence from her former life, and I found myself cheering on her community too. This novel falls into a category previously defined as "chick lit" but now more often referred to as "women's fiction" and although I sometimes scoff at that labeling for obvious reasons, I'm finding myself more open to reading similar books this year! There are two other books taking place in the same location and with recurring characters, so if you pick up the first and like me, find yourself a new fan of Felicity Hayes-McCoy, then make sure to pick up the others too!
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    My best advice on this book is too stick to it even though you might want to put it aside at first. Hanna is unlikable at the beginning. She is starting over after she discovers her husband in her bed with a friend of hers. She leaves London in a huff without getting any money from her well to do husband and returns to her mother's home in western Ireland with her teen-age daughter, Jazz. Boy, does she really show her husband when she takes nothing from their marriage. That will show him (sarca My best advice on this book is too stick to it even though you might want to put it aside at first. Hanna is unlikable at the beginning. She is starting over after she discovers her husband in her bed with a friend of hers. She leaves London in a huff without getting any money from her well to do husband and returns to her mother's home in western Ireland with her teen-age daughter, Jazz. Boy, does she really show her husband when she takes nothing from their marriage. That will show him (sarcasm). She gets a job at the local library and drives the mobile bookmobile. She is standoffish and distant to library patrons and all people she meets. She is sure they are all gossiping about her and making fun of her because of her husband's long running affair. How she thinks people will know this without her telling them is beyond me. It's also important to remember that people don't think as much about you as you think they do but there is no talking to stiff necked Hanna. She also picks fights with her mother for no apparent reason. She is no joy to be around. Still the drive around the peninsula delivering books is breathtaking. Although the towns are fictional, I am pretty sure it's based on Dingle. As events, unfold Hanna is forced to make some changes to survive. Her job is in danger and she must try to save it. It then becomes a lovely story about a community coming together to make better lives and an area's struggle to thrive while keeping it's history intact. In the end, you shut the book in satisfaction.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Delightful read with many endearing moments. I found the characters nicely rounded and the dialogue fully believable. There is so much growth in the main character and the community overall, from the story's onset to its conclusion, it made for a satisfying, believable tale. And of course, the topic of libraries being on budget chopping blocks is quite timely. The downside, which is really minor quibbles: at times the flow seemed to meander and the middle bogged down just a wee bit and lost a sl Delightful read with many endearing moments. I found the characters nicely rounded and the dialogue fully believable. There is so much growth in the main character and the community overall, from the story's onset to its conclusion, it made for a satisfying, believable tale. And of course, the topic of libraries being on budget chopping blocks is quite timely. The downside, which is really minor quibbles: at times the flow seemed to meander and the middle bogged down just a wee bit and lost a sliver of spunk. Overall, I thought it a rather enjoyable read - in the class of lighter faire of noteworthy integrity; less brassy than chick-lit but far from literary, landing somewhere in the middle. And not too heavy with expletives or unsavory content. A fun, weekend read to lift one's spirits in the throes of winter's deepfreeze or a summertime broiler.3.5 Rounded up . . . FOUR **** Lighter Than Literary, More Substantial than Chick-Lit, Library Lover's Fiction **** STARS
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  • Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
    January 1, 1970
    Hanna Casey is a librarian on Ireland's remote southwestern coast and has returned home after living for some time in England. You see her husband has cheated on her, so she has returned home to start her life over in Ireland. Hanna isn't your regular librarian though. She drives the library van all throughout the coast to the small Irish villages. Hanna currently lives at home with her mother and although she appreciates her, she knows it's time to find her own place. Her great-aunt has left he Hanna Casey is a librarian on Ireland's remote southwestern coast and has returned home after living for some time in England. You see her husband has cheated on her, so she has returned home to start her life over in Ireland. Hanna isn't your regular librarian though. She drives the library van all throughout the coast to the small Irish villages. Hanna currently lives at home with her mother and although she appreciates her, she knows it's time to find her own place. Her great-aunt has left her a run-down cottage on the coast and she decides now is the time to restore it, but it's going to be a big job. Hanna does have the time to focus on this though since her daughter is an adult now and off on her own. Hanna's plans go awry though when she finds out developers want to close the library. She knows she needs the community's help regarding this and she'll have to ask the very people she avoided to help her out for the sake of peninsula and the future of the library. Felicity Hayes-McCoy's The Library at the Edge of the World is a quiet read that will warm your heart. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsWhen I was a student 20 years ago I went to Ireland and subsequently became obsessed with All Things Irish. As an avid reader my reading choices were also influenced, and I read everything I could find by Marian Keyes and Maeve Binchy (20 years ago chick lit was HUGE).Fast forward to 2017. I received an ARC of The Library at the Edge of the World (thanks Netgalley) and hoped it would bring back some of that old Irish magic. It did.I found the descriptions of the house on the hill so evo 4.5 starsWhen I was a student 20 years ago I went to Ireland and subsequently became obsessed with All Things Irish. As an avid reader my reading choices were also influenced, and I read everything I could find by Marian Keyes and Maeve Binchy (20 years ago chick lit was HUGE).Fast forward to 2017. I received an ARC of The Library at the Edge of the World (thanks Netgalley) and hoped it would bring back some of that old Irish magic. It did.I found the descriptions of the house on the hill so evocative. I actually had a dream while reading the book about having a little cabin of my own somewhere. The characters in the book were outspoken and kind, and life in and around the village seemed charming, despite the challenges. Sometimes I felt that there were too many details about the council's workings but I realize that they were integral to the plot.I thought this was an excellent feel good story of contemporary life in a small Irish village which is threatened by high level government decisions. This book is perfect for readers who want the same slice of Irish life feeling as Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes but with less of a romance angle and more of a generic where is my life going angle.
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  • Karina
    January 1, 1970
    Brought book on vacation thinking it would be a good poolside book. The title, set in Ireland did nothing for me. Was too slow, repetitive, and would not get to the point! I love Maeve Binchy books. Did not remind me of her. The characters hardly interacted enough for me to appreciate it more and was not interested in lives of characters. Too boring. Had to quit on pg 245...
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    It was a bit predictable, but I didn't mind. Especially when was as warm as a knitted throw around your shoulders. The characters were familiar to me, and well developed. I found myself commiserating with them. This was time well spent.
  • Christie
    January 1, 1970
    Not as good as Binchy and the main character had some inconsistencies that bothered me a bit, but this was still a feel-good story for when I was sick :)
  • Susanne
    January 1, 1970
    My new local bookshop (Whitelam Books) offered a "blind date with a book" table in February -- and serendipity was clearly at work because the brown bag I purchased contained this novel about a librarian, set in Ireland! The story is set in the fictional "Finfarra Peninsula" in the rural west of Ireland, and could easily have been the Dingle Peninsula where my husband's huge extended family lives. What fun! The bold adventure proved more poignant and instructional than light-hearted, however: in My new local bookshop (Whitelam Books) offered a "blind date with a book" table in February -- and serendipity was clearly at work because the brown bag I purchased contained this novel about a librarian, set in Ireland! The story is set in the fictional "Finfarra Peninsula" in the rural west of Ireland, and could easily have been the Dingle Peninsula where my husband's huge extended family lives. What fun! The bold adventure proved more poignant and instructional than light-hearted, however: initially I bristled at the stereoptypical depiction of a stern, judgmental librarian who barely tolerates her work, and local Irish politics can be as tedious as ours. But things picked up pleasantly when the library was threatened and townsfolk banded together to try to help. It wasn't quite the American trope of "Let's put on a show and save the day!" but a more restrained, quirkily Irish variation. The Irish way with words is on full display here ("Ah Holy God Almighty, that I reared an eejit! You're a fool and the whole world knows it!" grumbles her mother, and the librarian consoles herself "It wasn't that the world and his wife were talking about her." Later, when a proper fight is required she considers "Battles aren't won by going at things like a class of a bull at a gate," and goes about organizing her revolution with some subtlety.) I liked the book, relished a realistic visit to a favorite place, and marveled again at the clear differences in temperament between many Americans and the Irish.It's a good season for lovers of books and small-town libraries, with American Sue Halpern's "Summer Hours at the Robbers Library" coming out later this month.
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  • Cherie
    January 1, 1970
    It ended the same way it started, in an old house overlooking the sea. I enjoyed the cast of characters and the story line was very interesting.Emma Lowe was the narrator of the story. Well done!
  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of Maeve Binchy and Patrick Taylor, rejoice! There's a new Irish author in print and she's taken the best of both these others and added some style and depth of her own to create a really interesting, authentic read.Divorcee Hanna Casey is the head librarian back in her old home town of Lissbeg, Ireland, but after five years, she is feeling restless, unfulfilled and tired of living with her mother. Hanna's daughter, Jazz, is now an adult and working as a flight attendant with her own life t Fans of Maeve Binchy and Patrick Taylor, rejoice! There's a new Irish author in print and she's taken the best of both these others and added some style and depth of her own to create a really interesting, authentic read.Divorcee Hanna Casey is the head librarian back in her old home town of Lissbeg, Ireland, but after five years, she is feeling restless, unfulfilled and tired of living with her mother. Hanna's daughter, Jazz, is now an adult and working as a flight attendant with her own life to lead. After an abortive attempt to get her former English husband to finance a small home of her own, Hanna reluctantly considers remodeling an old, broken down shanty on a sea-front lot bequeathed to her long ago by a great-aunt. The builder who basically engages himself on her behalf, is known around the area as being a law unto himself and drives her crazy because he won't be pinned down by minor details like quotes for the work, schedules, or even by cell-phone! To add to the drama, the Lissbeg Library is under the threat of closure by the County Council's new budget and it looks like her job (which admittedly, she doesn't love, but still depends on) will soon come to an untimely end. She joins forces with her lively assistant, Conor, a hidden-from-the-world nun and an unlikely crew of locals who enthusiastically undertake to "fight city hall," as it were. The obstacles and solutions she meets along the way make up the plot of this tale of modern Ireland and the ending is both satisfying and sensible.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    After separating from her husband, Hanna Casey returns to her mother's home in Ireland and soon finds herself in the middle of a battle to save her rural hometown. A pleasant story about a town coming together and the ragtag locals who stand up to 'city hall'. Unfortunately none of the characters really grew on me and the main character, Hanna, was borderline unlikable. However, it does offer a compelling view of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland and its cozy small town setting should appeal to many rea After separating from her husband, Hanna Casey returns to her mother's home in Ireland and soon finds herself in the middle of a battle to save her rural hometown. A pleasant story about a town coming together and the ragtag locals who stand up to 'city hall'. Unfortunately none of the characters really grew on me and the main character, Hanna, was borderline unlikable. However, it does offer a compelling view of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland and its cozy small town setting should appeal to many readers.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing was well done, but there was very little storyline until the end. Most of the book was about the history of the location and the characters, and a lot of it was very unnecessary to the story. The ending was a bit disappointing, because the way it came about is very implausible, the kind of ending that could only happen in a book, and the kind of ending I wouldn't expect from this kind of book.
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  • Patty Shlonsky
    January 1, 1970
    “She told herself that a letter was nothing but words on paper. But a librarian should know better than anyone how written words, moving through time and space, could change a person’s life.”After the end of a lengthy marriage and many years living a sophisticated life in London, Hanna Casey finds herself moving in with her widowed mother in the small Irish town of Lissberg (fictional), with 16 year old daughter Jazz (Jasmine) in tow. Hanna left her long term husband Malcolm (and his money) afte “She told herself that a letter was nothing but words on paper. But a librarian should know better than anyone how written words, moving through time and space, could change a person’s life.”After the end of a lengthy marriage and many years living a sophisticated life in London, Hanna Casey finds herself moving in with her widowed mother in the small Irish town of Lissberg (fictional), with 16 year old daughter Jazz (Jasmine) in tow. Hanna left her long term husband Malcolm (and his money) after she found him in bed with another woman.Lissberg is the town that time forgot, but Hanna is fortunate to find a job in the small Lissberg library, which is in close proximity to an old convent where two elderly nuns reside. She is assisted on a part time basis by Conor McCarthy, whose goal is to become a librarian. The Lissberg library is under the control of the County Library in Carrick and Tim Slattery, the County librarian.Hanna finds the job dull, but two days a week she drives the mobile library to more remote locations, providing books and conversation to people who otherwise would not have access to a library. Although extremely reserved, Hanna enjoys this particular part of her job.At the age of 12, Hanna had inherited a cottage from her reclusive Aunt Maggie. When Hanna returns to Ireland the cottage is ramshackle and unlivable. Hanna’s life with her mother is tense and Hanna decides to take a loan and renovate the deteriorating cottage. She finds herself working with the inscrutable Fury O’Shea, who insists on the renovations he deems appropriate and refuses to provide either estimates or plans. “Everyone agreed that you wouldn’t want to cross Fury…Apparently he didn’t do estimates, let alone quotes, nor did he stick to a schedule. And you’d never know where to find him…”In the meantime, the county council has a development plan in mind that would create a new complex in Carrick, threatening the Lissberg library as well as the economic wellbeing of Lissberg’s already struggling residents. Despite her reserve, Hanna finds herself and her library at the center of a resistance movement, seemingly initiated by one of the elderly nuns in the convent. And somehow, along the way, Hanna finds romance. I will not give away the ending, which has a few twists and turns.The novel is enjoyable and sweet. Along with issues of development and the importance of community, the book looks at family relationships, politics, power, deceit and loyalty. The book also has humor, best reflected in Oliver “the dog man”, who spends weeks going through every book in the library looking for a book with a particular dog on the cover. The novel gets off to a slow start but is a worthwhile read. if you like this review subscribe to www.frombriefstobooks and get more!
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    Recently Hannah Casey has questioned her decision of leaving London and her adulterous husband and returning to her childhood home on the fictional beautiful Finfarran peninsula with her testy mother. Now that she employed as the local librarian, she hopes to renovate and move into an abandoned ancestor's cliffside home. However, recent news that she may be losing her job may put an end to the dreams. This novel was an easy and pleasant read populated by a number of colorful characters, especial Recently Hannah Casey has questioned her decision of leaving London and her adulterous husband and returning to her childhood home on the fictional beautiful Finfarran peninsula with her testy mother. Now that she employed as the local librarian, she hopes to renovate and move into an abandoned ancestor's cliffside home. However, recent news that she may be losing her job may put an end to the dreams. This novel was an easy and pleasant read populated by a number of colorful characters, especially, the man hired to do the house's renovations. I found that the novel had a satisfactory end.
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  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cute, heartwarming story about a community trying to save its local library and the characters involved. Gets bonus points for multiple references to one of my favorite authors, Saki.
  • Shorty
    January 1, 1970
    A quick, easy summer read.
  • MsArdychan
    January 1, 1970
    Please note: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.I recently did a writing exercise in preparation for NaNoWriMo where we listed things we like to see in books. Mine included a small town setting, strong female characters, a central meeting place, and an underdog. All those wonderful aspects are part of The Library At The Edge Of The World, by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and Please note: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.I recently did a writing exercise in preparation for NaNoWriMo where we listed things we like to see in books. Mine included a small town setting, strong female characters, a central meeting place, and an underdog. All those wonderful aspects are part of The Library At The Edge Of The World, by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and left me with a massive desire to visit Ireland in the future.What I Liked:Strong Female Character:Hanna Casey once had dreams of being an art librarian in London. But after her marriage and high-flying lifestyle crumbles, she must return home to Ireland and live with her shrew of a mother. She finds employment at the local library, a big step down, but she is somewhat content there.I love how Hanna regained her self-worth by renovating an old home. Through her builder, she learns to compromise and to realize that accepting help from others doesn't make you weak.Once she realizes the county plans to consolidate services (and close the library), she spearheads an effort to mobilize the whole village to act.Small Town Setting:While the little peninsula of Finfarran is fictional, the book's vivid descriptions and colorful characters created a living place. There are beautiful beaches with stunning coastlines. Quaint farms, and family-run bed and breakfast inns, all struggling in an economy that is fading. They see their economy, which is mostly tourism, slowly slipping away as wealthy businessmen guide lucrative government contracts towards larger towns. If they don't do something soon, younger people will be forced to leave, in order to find work.A Central Meeting Place:At the heart of the story is the library. As an avid reader, I loved how the library went from a rigid, sterile place to an active community center. It really became the heart of the town.And in the library, there were wonderful secondary characters that enriched the novel. From the chatty moms with strollers, to the man who comes to the library, systematically looking at each book, this feels like a real place.An Underdog:The whole town is the underdog as they fight to keep the county from consolidating vital services. The county's plan may seem like a smart way to save money, but it doesn't take into account the impact it will have on the smaller communities.As the town bands together to develop an alternate plan, they all realize how much they have to gain by helping and supporting each other. They know that if their plan succeeds, younger people will have a chance to stay in the community. But if they fail, it will mean the slow death of the village.What I Didn't Like:While I enjoyed the ending, there was a plot device that was used to move certain characters into place which I thought was unnecessary. I don't like to include spoilers, but this small event felt totally thrown in and artificial. I wished that the author could have made a different choice.
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  • Deyanne
    January 1, 1970
    This is a strong testimonial to the importance of place and especially home. Obviously the author loves Ireland and that love permeates the novel. While the story was shallow and predictable, the charm for me came in the descriptions of nature. It was nice to be transported away to a rugged rural setting where a community pulls together for the "greater good" and the preservation of the culture that they hold dear. The importance of words and books weave through the storyline. This novel was re This is a strong testimonial to the importance of place and especially home. Obviously the author loves Ireland and that love permeates the novel. While the story was shallow and predictable, the charm for me came in the descriptions of nature. It was nice to be transported away to a rugged rural setting where a community pulls together for the "greater good" and the preservation of the culture that they hold dear. The importance of words and books weave through the storyline. This novel was relevant for me as currently my own community is fighting a new housing development. The power of a united community is strong. We shall see what happens on my own home front.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Such an enjoyable read. I really loved meeting all of the characters in this book and wish the author would write more about the inhabitants of this lovely Irish town (and surrounding area). My favorite was Fury O'Shea what a name! All in all a great relaxing book that would make a perfect lazy day read. Lose yourself in this lovely Irish town.
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  • Alva
    January 1, 1970
    This is a gorgeous Irish story about Hanna, Mary, Jazz, Fury and their supporting cast in fictional Finfarran. A sparkling tale of determination and goodness with a real sense of family and home. Wonderful storytelling by Felicity Hayes-McCoy who's working on a sequel and I for one can't wait!
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    I once read that the greatest compliment a reviewer can give a book is that they feel they have “stepped into” the book. If that’s true, I now live in Ireland!
  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    Some twenty-odd years earlier, Hanna Casey fled the oppressing and limiting Finfarran peninsula heading for London and dreams to work with art, maintaining library collections. But, a whirlwind romance and subsequent pregnancy led to a marriage. With the loss of that pregnancy and a decade-later birth of her daughter, she thought her life complete. But, when the realization came that her now ex-husband had a long-standing affair with a family friend, she packed up herself and her daughter and ra Some twenty-odd years earlier, Hanna Casey fled the oppressing and limiting Finfarran peninsula heading for London and dreams to work with art, maintaining library collections. But, a whirlwind romance and subsequent pregnancy led to a marriage. With the loss of that pregnancy and a decade-later birth of her daughter, she thought her life complete. But, when the realization came that her now ex-husband had a long-standing affair with a family friend, she packed up herself and her daughter and ran home. Refusing even a penny from her ex, she’s reinvented herself as a prim, proper and perhaps even coldly efficient librarian in the little town of Lissbeg, rebuffing opportunities for friendship and closeness with everyone. What emerges here is the slow unraveling and unburdening of Hanna’s grief, as she learns to see just who her ex-husband is, her own vulnerability and willingness to take a backseat to everyone else’s ideas, her own discontent with her mother and the gradual definition of her own life, made in her own making. Sure there are huge and small missteps, some impulsive decisions and outbursts on her part and a little piece of land with an overgrown garden, leaky roof and field full of abandoned appliances, she starts to find a path. Never easy or solely gentle, the self-interest that spurred Hanna’s growth was gradual, she often could be found kicking and screaming (metaphorically) with her ‘face like the backside of a chicken’ being her go-to expression through much of the story. But, what is most striking is the changes in Hanna – it isn’t that we get to know her better, for she is almost wholly unlikable in her pity-party prickles out persona early on, but the changes, the flashes of optimism and determination that arise through each moment she sees something new, or takes a moment to really listen. The strength from the elderly nun, the desperation of her assistant Conor, the brightness and optimism of the girls at HaberDashery, her mum, her daughter and so many others, the story reads simply with plenty of moments, characters and conflicts that brighten and enliven the read. The growth and changes in Hanna were contrasted with the rehab of her little cottage and the stalwart, strange and always bartering Fury and the Divil, you’ll want to head to this little peninsula, see the gardens and seal-cove and visit the new illuminated text in the Lissbeg Library. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
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  • Mrs. Tongate
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always a sucker for a librarian or a bookstore read. After reading, I now just want to live in Ireland, have goats, and a house on a cliff with ocean view. Since I'm not headed to Ireland, I guess Kentucky Soaps and Such in Stanford, Ky. will have to do with their goat milk products. Sweet read!Story behind: Author conceived the idea over lemon drizzle cake that an Irish librarian gives up her career for love and 25 years later, discovers that her marriage has been a sham. Quotes:*p.2 "A lib I'm always a sucker for a librarian or a bookstore read. After reading, I now just want to live in Ireland, have goats, and a house on a cliff with ocean view. Since I'm not headed to Ireland, I guess Kentucky Soaps and Such in Stanford, Ky. will have to do with their goat milk products. Sweet read!Story behind: Author conceived the idea over lemon drizzle cake that an Irish librarian gives up her career for love and 25 years later, discovers that her marriage has been a sham. Quotes:*p.2 "A librarian should know better than anyone how written words, moving through time and space, could change a person's life."*p.190 "Her job might bore her but at least it was secure." *p.211 "It's not just the money. The whole books thing is really a big deal for me. I love the Lissbeg Library. And learning from you is just great." (Conor to Miss Casey)*p.216 "What sort of an ass must she be, that men could so easily fool her? *p.216 "Your husband was a cheat and this Slattery man's a liar. That's no shame on you, girl. But sitting there snuffling when you should be getting organized! That's a mortal sin."***p.226 "Everything in life has its own time to happen. A time to plant, a time to grow, and a time to harvest. And if you take things steady you'll bring your harvest home." (Sister Michael)*p.299 "You can prepare the ground and set the seed, but you can't rush the harvest." (Sister Michael)
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