The Lonely Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore
Publication Date: March 28th 2023 by Dreamscape Media
Audio Book Length: 11hrs 6min
Narrator: Angie Kane
Source: Publisher via Libro.fm
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Librofm | Audible | Goodreads
Sloane Parker works as a librarian and loves the way books can lift your soul and transport you to other places. Sound familiar? Despite the fact she’s engaged, you can tell she feels a little alone in the world, still battling grief over losing the one person who truly got her, her sister.
Arthur is a grouchy old man who basically terrorizes the library staff, and they’re all terrified of him, except for Sloane. They spar over books which was hilarious, and Arthur starts showing up every day at the same time, a little after Sloane arrives. Until one day he doesn’t show up. Sloane’s worried for him so against her manager’s express orders she looks up his address and finds him very unwell.
Sloane ends up caring for Arthur, even though he acts like he doesn’t need or want her help and along the way they end up picking up friends, a ragtag sort of group, all with a connection to either Sloane or Arthur, all dealing with issues, a bit sad and lonely just like Sloane and Arthur. They form, albeit reluctantly, a book club.
The Lonely Hearts Book Club was a fitting title and I just adored the story! There was a lot of humor that had me laughing out loud despite some of the heartbreak each character dealt with. They find friendship, camaraderie, and solace with each other and it made my heart soar with joy! There was a promise of romance in there, too.
I listened to an audio copy and enjoyed Angie Kane’s narration. Her comedic timing was great, and the melancholy felt by the characters came through well in her performance. I recommend the audio. I listened at my usual 1.5x normal speed.
Sloane Parker lives a small, contained life as a librarian in her small, contained town. She never thinks of herself as lonely...but still she looks forward to that time every day when old curmudgeon Arthur McLachlan comes to browse the shelves and cheerfully insult her. Their sparring is such a highlight of Sloane's day that when Arthur doesn't show up one morning, she's instantly concerned. And then another day passes, and another.
Anxious, Sloane tracks the old man down only to discover him all but bedridden...and desperately struggling to hide how happy he is to see her. Wanting to bring more cheer into Arthur's gloomy life, Sloane creates an impromptu book club. Slowly, the lonely misfits of their sleepy town begin to find each other, and in their book club, find the joy of unlikely friendship. Because as it turns out, everyone has a special book in their heart—and a reason to get lost (and eventually found) within the pages.