Monday, August 30, 2021

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

. . . First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros . . . now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read.

Today I'm featuring a recent read, The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson. The excerpt shared is from an advance reader copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

First Chapter:  You can tell a lot about a person from the library books they borrow.

June liked to play a game when things were quiet at work. Shed pick a patron and make up their life story based on the books they read. Today she'd chosen a middle-aged lady who took out two Danielle Steel novels and The Rough Guide to Iceland. After some consideration, June decided that the woman was trapped in a loveless marriage, perhaps with a boorish, aggressive husband. She was planning to run away to Reykjavik, where she'd fall in love with a rugged, bearded local. But just as she thought she'd found true happiness, her husband would track her down and announce--


What do you think?  Would you continue reading? 

This was a four star read for me, and I share my review below.

Library assistant June Jones has always been painfully shy, and has become more withdrawn after the death of her mother, librarian Beverley Jones, eight years ago. Since that time, June has retreated into her world of books, venturing only as far as the Chalcot Library, her place of employment, and the Golden Dragon, her local Chinese restaurant. She is a creature of habit who re-reads her favorite classics and orders the same takeaway meal every Monday night. June has resigned herself to living a quiet existence without close friends or outside interests, having given up her dream of being a writer when her mother became gravely ill. Her entire life now revolves around her job at the library, where she performs her assigned tasks while doing her best to limit her interactions with the patrons. June's world is about to turn upside down, however, when the Dunningshire Council announces its plan to close the Chalcot Library as part of its budget reductions.

The library patrons are quick to denounce the Council's plans and organize petitions and protests to save their beloved local library, expecting June to support them in their actions. June is petrified at the thought of participating in any public activities, even though her job is threatened. Can she find it within herself to move beyond her comfort zone and stand up for what she believes in, at the risk of facing her vulnerabilities and connecting with like-minded souls?

The Last Chance Library is a heartwarming tale of love and loss; resourcefulness and new beginnings; and opportunities for personal growth and reinvention. Freya Sampson has created a charming English village populated with an eclectic mix of characters who connect in ways that provide equal measures of light-hearted humor and drama as they interact with each other and rally around a common cause. The resilience of the human spirit is on full display as the ups and downs of these villagers comes to life in the pages of this novel.

That said, The Last Chance Library is also a tribute to books and libraries. It has numerous book references for bibliophiles to delight in; acknowledges the importance of library services beyond book lending; and underscores the library as the day-to-day heart of the community. It is a truly touching and uplifting read.


This First Chapter~First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog. © 2021, Book Club Librarian All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Book Club Librarian without attribution, know that this post is being used without permission.


  1. What a delightful book! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm so happy you loved this one. I will be reading it this week and have a spotlight post today. It sounds like a nice story.

  3. I really want to read this one. It sounds wonderful!

  4. I just came across this book and was wondering what it was about. This sounds like a great book and I love the first paragraph!