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This story was an unexpected delight. Tom is a typical angsty teenager with an unhappy home life and Maggie is a confident but lonely seventy-something pensioner. Their paths collide and from there begins an endearing and mutually beneficial friendship. In the background is the fight to save their local library from being closed down, but this definitely took a back stage to the development of Tom’s and Maggie’s friendship.
Highly recommend this. It has a bit more depth than I expected.
Tom Harris lives with his father Paul, he’s only sixteen and he has the weight of the world on his young shoulders. His mum passed away when he was eight, his dad works nights, and Tom's left home alone. He has a crush on Farah Shah at school, he blushes every time he sees her, and loses the ability to speak. He hasn’t a clue about girls, he starts borrowing romance novels from the local library, and to get some ideas on how to be less awkward around girls. Here he meets Maggie Mann, she’s seventy two, a widow and Tom comes to her rescue.
Despite the age difference Tom and Maggie become friends and he starts helping her around her farm. Maggie has twenty acres, she runs sheep, keeps chickens and grows her own vegetables. Maggie takes Tom under her wing, he appreciates her home cooked meals and she senses Tom isn’t happy at home and she leaves it up to him to tell her what’s going on.
Tom discovers the joy of reading, he gains confidence, he starts to apply himself to his studies, he wants to pass high school and go to university. When they threaten to close the library, Maggie, Tom, Farah, Christine and the members of Maggie’s book group start a petition and come up with ideas to save the library. An emotional story about an unlikely friendship, Maggie gives Tom the love and attention he desperately needs and she has a new lease on life. Tom learns valuable life skills from Maggie, and also people do make mistakes and you can’t hold their past against them.
Bella Osborne's book is beautifully written, it made me cry in a good way, my heart feels full of hope, and five big stars from me.
The story of a 16 year old boy and a 70 something very quirky lady is an odd one at first but it reads perfectly and the change of opinion is really refreshing. Add in the nostalgia most British people feel about their local library and we have a winning story. This book really hits home right now about the need to use or lose facilities like libraries, never in a preachy way but it does make you appreciate what you have. There are quite a few themes running through the book and they all work well together.
Teenage Tom and pensioner Maggie - two lonely people who come together to save the local library. Their paths cross over books but then their lives become intertwined, with troubles along the way. Will the library and their newfound friendship find a way through?
I loved this story and whizzed through it. Definitely one of my favourite reads of 2021. Osborne sensitively and realistically portrays the journey of Tom's dad and from the first chapter I knew the ending I wanted and kept my fingers crossed. Both the main characters had me rooting for them. An absolute joy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end The story of a budding friendship between the main characters and how it changed the lives of Tom and Maggie is so believable and the attention to detail throughout the story is amazing and it is totally different from previous Bella Osborne books and it shows what a versatile author Bella Osborne is for any reader
This book has it all, we were shown a snapshot of the lives of the two main characters and were treated to the most brilliant characterisation. How lovely to to have the two different generations interacting in such a positive and heartfelt way, my only criticism…. What happened next? More please Bella!
I have only just found Bella Osborne and can't get enough of her delightful books. Every so often you find an author that you love to read and can't put down, this is one of those books, in fact I have felt like that about all of her books. I can't wait to decide which one to read next. You will enjoy meeting Maggie and Tom in this book and getting to know them, I didn't want it to end.