Serenity, the MAD Librarian aka Lie-brarian, served me some Southern grit, charm, hope and tough as knuckles personality in this book.
When the library runs out of funds and Serenity, the Head Librarian, is on the verge of giving up, she stumbles upon some residual account with all the money she could need to keep the library doors open and she takes it. She thinks, why not rip off the same city that has been ripping her off for years and it’s all about the books and keeping her doors open to everyone.
I was drawn to this book by the title. I love books and librarians are the most resourceful people I know and to have one that’s “MAD”, well, that was reason enough to pique my interest.
I loved the bookish references and how there were opposing forces for Serenity from the beginning. The sexism did piss me off, especially when the Mayor is keen on Serenity’s views on his interior decor and hat instead of talking about finances, partnership and keeping the library open. I also fumed when they wouldn’t give her time to air her views during the council meeting, that was just downright mean.
Serenity is all about books and it was quite nerve wrecking that she had a husband who lived by the book. Joe’s decision to stick by the law was the one thing that hurt more in this and in a way, I am grateful that the author was realistic because well, at some point it was clear that Serenity could not have her cake and eat it.
The pace was even in the first seven chapters and after that it felt like a drum rolling downhill. There was a part where Serenity was talking to Joe about fighting a losing battle that I found to be as honest as she could ever get in the book,
…Now that I’ve been in the normal world for twenty years and should be some kind of pillar for the community, it seems all I do is smile and pretend and take crap. Even that’s not enough anymore.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s mad about books. You’d agree with the author that public libraries do need funding and I’d be lying if I said that I find myself hurting just a bit more when I visit the public library here in Kisumu, Kenya.
Given the pace, the quirkiness of the characters and the unraveling of the plot, I’d say that my rating’s a 3.5 stars we should introduce that point five rating option.
I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. It’s been a mad read and is there any way I could get to name a pet Faulkner?
Reviewed also on: Goodreads