I’ve neglected my blog for too long, but not intentionally.
Actually, I’ve neglected my writing, too. It’s been a combination of issues: obligations at home, computer/technology problems, and pandemic blues. Early in the pandemic lockdown, it was a challenge to make myself sit long enough to read a book. I don’t know why. Maybe it was fear or knowing that I couldn’t do a whole lot outside the home during the lockdown but didn’t want to just sit and read. Of course, blogging took a back seat to everything.
Today I take up my pen to blog about a novel I just finished reading, The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson. I got lucky with this one. I found it on the new book shelf at my local library. I’d never heard of the book nor the author. It was a nice surprise. It’s a story of a small library in an English village and the villagers who band together to fight the possible permanent closure of the facility. As a librarian, I related to so much of this book: the library patrons, the budget pressures, the library work itself. Beyond that, I enjoyed the humor, the wonderfully quirky characters, the literary references, the friendships, and the all around sense of the community’s love for its library. It’s a very heartwarming story.
I also wrote a novel about a library in crisis, but Silence, Please takes a more serious look at the issue. Part of me wonders if I should have taken the approach to my book that Sampson took and added more humor and warmth to my story. However, one of the first writing lessons I learned was to remain true to my own voice. A writer can’t adopt a style that doesn’t come naturally. I’m proud of Silence, Please. Though it isn’t heartwarming, I would never want to rewrite it because it’s an honest depiction of a library in crisis, and it speaks to the importance of libraries in our communities. I wish there were more novels about libraries that were as realistic and enjoyable as Sampson’s The Last Chance Library and my own Silence, Please.