Review by Booklist Review
Fogelson's debut is a beautiful heartwarming novel that weaves together a wide range of emotions. Dodie Fairisle flees the concrete jungle of New York City after one bad review brings her art career to a screeching halt and her successful, self-absorbed boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her. She finds herself right at home in her best friend's hometown of Chatsworth, where she becomes an art teacher. With her thirty-fifth birthday looming, Dodie feels like she is racing against time to find a husband and have a baby. When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely for repairs, the small community finds itself lost without their gathering place. Dodie decides to fill this void by opening up a little library in the sunroom of her home. The lending library proves to be just what everyone needs, including Dodie as she builds friendships and finds an exciting new romance. Her secret dream of being a mother seems almost in reach when the chance to adopt arises, but it very well may cost her the man of her dreams. Book lovers will revel in Dodie's journey of loss, abandonment, motherhood, and love. Jane Green fans won't be able to put down this page-turner.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Fogelson pairs a passionate bibliophile with a handsome construction worker and achieves maximum charm in her quirky and sweet debut. After frustrated painter Dodie Fairisle leaves New York City for fictional Connecticut suburb Chatsworth to teach art in an elementary school, the Chatsworth library becomes her refuge. Dodie is a next-level booklover (Fogelson's first line, "I was sniffing glue again," refers to Dodie's intimacy with the "heady scent" of a spine), and after asbestos is discovered in the library and it's forced to close, she responds by setting up a makeshift lending library in the sunroom of her house. It immediately becomes a community draw and leads to a relationship with construction worker Shep Jamison. The new couple abstractly discuss their feelings about having children, but when they have a sudden opportunity to adopt, Shep gets cold feet. Fogelson strikes the perfect balance with Dodie, making her charming and vulnerable, and Dodie's love for books and passion for connecting them with readers is strongly felt. Supporting characters such as Dodie's old art school friend and a book-loving child amplify the appeal. This should be catnip for book clubs. (June)
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Review by Library Journal Review
DEBUT Elementary school art teacher Dodie "Do" Fairisle enjoys her life in rural Connecticut until the library gets shut down for asbestos removal and other renovations. Devastated, she turns her sunroom into a small lending library for the town, so they don't have to drive 45 minutes to the next closest library. One of her regulars is Shep, a construction worker who is new to the area. One minute they are exchanging glances, the next they are a couple. Trouble starts brewing when Shep finds out that Do wants to adopt a baby, something that she neglected to tell him. He's not ready, and he doesn't think Do is, either. She agonizes about the baby, her library, and the financial toll it is taking on her, not to mention her abandonment issues from her father disappearing when she was a young child, but her books bring her solace. Avid readers will identify with Dodie, but those looking for romance might want to look elsewhere. VERDICT This debut novel shows some promise and should appeal to librarians and book lovers everywhere. Read-alikes include Karen Hawkins's The Book Charmer and Jenny Colgan's The Bookshop on the Corner.--Stacy Alesi, Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Lib., Lynn Univ., Boca Raton, FL
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