I’m sorry, but I don’t especially know what to make of this one. Librarian semi-accidentally kidnaps 10-year-old whose parents and pastor are trying to de-gay him. I probably would be more charitable towards the book if it depicted librarians and library work more accurately.
“I had no library science degree and no experience, but Loraine happened to need a children’s librarian fast, after the old one was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. She hadn’t even had time yet to advertise the job, and so when my letter arrived she took it as an answer to her prayers and hired me over the phone.”
“‘I was a librarian once. At the music library at Oberlin, as an undergrad. My main job was to erase pencil marks from the last season’s orchestra scores.’”
Well, there were a few things Makkai got right.
“Once a year al the librarians in the county wedged themselves into high heels, tried to pull the cat hair off their sweaters with masking tape, and smeared their lips with an awful tomato red that that gone stale in its tube, all to convince the benefit set of the greater Hannibal region that libraries do better with chairs and books and money.”
The book has an unusual premise and some likable characters. I appreciated that the 10-year-old is as annoying as he is charming, but all in all I wasn’t particularly moved by any of it, even the stuff that should have clutched at my librarian and anti-authoritarian heart strings, like freedom to read and sticking it to the preacherman. I think my favorite element in the book is the protagonist’s living situation, above a theater, where she isn’t allowed to flush the toilet during shows.
CATS: to my memory, just the cat hair reference