Rose Recommends: April | The Borrower

April is almost over, and I need to do my monthly recommendation! This month I’m going with The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai. It looks like this:


and it’s great. The story is about a children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri (which coincidentally is right by where I live so I’m super familiar with it). This librarian develops a close relationship with one of her young patrons – a boy whose mother has enrolled him in anti-gay classes. Yikes. The plot really begins when the librarian accidentally kidnaps the boy, Ian. I say ‘accidentally’ because she is essentially helping him run away from his mother (though of course, to the authorities it looks an awful lot like a kidnapping) and is at first reluctant to do so. What ensues is a beautiful road trip story with this woman and the young boy, in which she learns stuff about life, like any good road trip story.

One of the many things I like about this book is that each chapter begins with an epigraph from a famous children’s book which somehow connects to what is happening in the plot. These epigraphs aren’t the only children’s book references, either. Since the main character is a children’s librarian, and the story is narrated from her perspective, there are many other references that litter the text, so anyone who has a soft spot for the books they read as a child will delight in this story.

I adore books about books, so I really enjoyed this (not to mention the fact that I’m familiar with the setting and the fact that I’m going to be studying to be a librarian). It’s a touching and funny story, and like most of my monthly recommendation choices, it deserves more readers!


Adult contemporary fiction



For those who like:

  • Children’s literature
  • Road trip stories
  • Adorable-ness

Things people might not like:

  • Some people might find the MC “unlikeable” (“unlikeability” never bothers me)
  • Not very realistic (also doesn’t bother me)

4 thoughts on “Rose Recommends: April | The Borrower”

  1. How many books about librarians have you read? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I bet you can name others beside this one. 🙂

    I like the plot of this book. Librarian + accidental kidnapping to escape bigoted family + road trip = a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually haven’t read too many fictional books about librarians! The one that comes to mind is Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, but that’s about a bookseller not a librarian. I know there are many books out there about librarians, but I haven’t read them yet…like The Shadow of the Wind, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and there’s this new young readers series about Mr. Lemoncello’s Library which I want to check out.
      Lol yes, it’s a great combination! 🙂


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