STARRED REVIEW
February 27, 2018

A little library with a big heart

By Sue Halpern
Review by

For lovers of books, the virtues of a library are not hard to sell, but in Riverton, New Hampshire, a small mill town that has seen better days, the books are usually the last things to bring people to the library. Named after a once famous resident who no one really remembers, Robbers Library has become a place where residents of this faded town go to socialize, hide, use the computers and, yes, sometimes even read.

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For lovers of books, the virtues of a library are not hard to sell, but in Riverton, New Hampshire, a small mill town that has seen better days, the books are usually the last things to bring people to the library. Named after a once-famous resident who no one really remembers, Robbers Library has become a place where residents of this faded town go to socialize, hide, use the computers and, yes, sometimes even read.

When 15-year-old Sunny gets caught for shoplifting a dictionary from the local mall, the judge requires her to serve her sentence at this library. A sweet child raised by hippie parents, Sunny becomes a fixture of Robbers during one summer—along with the Four, a group of retired old friends, and Rusty, a young Wall Street banker who has lost it all and has come to Riverton with a treasure map of sorts. Babysitting them all is the head librarian, Kit Jarvis, smart and kind but with her own hidden story of what brought her to Riverton. Kit’s plan was to live a life of solitude, but despite her best efforts, she is thrown into the mix of everyone else’s summertime drama, forcing her to reveal her own ghosts, too.

Told partly from Sunny’s perspective and partly from Kit’s, Summer Hours at the Robbers Library uses the differences in the two protagonists’ ages, experiences and upbringing to its advantage. With her new novel, Sue Halpern offers the perfect way to experience a small-town community filled with lovable characters, mysterious happenings, a little bit of romance and hopeful endings.

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Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

By Sue Halpern
Harper Perennial
ISBN 9780062678966

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