Summer Hours at The Robber’s Library
From journalist and author Sue Halpern comes a wry, observant look at contemporary life and its refugees. Halpern’s novel is an unforgettable tale of family…the kind you come from and the kind you create.
People are drawn to libraries for all kinds of reasons. Most come for the books themselves, of course; some come to borrow companionship. For head librarian Kit, the public library in Riverton, New Hampshire, offers what she craves most: peace. Here, no one expects Kit to talk about the calamitous events that catapulted her out of what she thought was a settled, suburban life. She can simply submerge herself in her beloved books and try to forget her problems.
But that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge throws the book at Sunny—literally—assigning her to do community service at the library for the summer. Bright, curious, and eager to connect with someone other than her off-the-grid hippie parents, Sunny coaxes Kit out of her self-imposed isolation. They’re joined by Rusty, a Wall Street high-flyer suddenly crashed to earth.
In this little library that has become the heart of this small town, Kit, Sunny, and Rusty are drawn to each other, and to a cast of other offbeat regulars. As they come to terms with how their lives have unraveled, they also discover how they might knit them together again and finally reclaim their stories
Praise & Reviews
“Finely choreographed and lucidly told, Halpern infuses this tale of derailments and second chances with free-ranging empathy, lithe humor, and penetrating insights into the human psyche. [Halpern is] a discerning and sensitive novelist.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“Summer Hours at The Robbers Library is whip-smart, funny and moving all at once. A rare combination.”
—Maggie Gyllenhaal, Academy Award-nominated actress
“Sue Halpern’s nonfiction books tell wonderful and engaging stories in prose that is crystal clear and beautifully crafted. So, it’s no surprise that when she turns her attention to fiction she casts her spell of narrative enchantment. This novel presents a full cast of intriguing, complex characters and a heart-warming message about how our losses are often what allow us to connect with each other. And who can resist falling in love with a novel in which a small-town library is saved and with it the community that finds meaning and solace there!”
—Julia Alvarez, New York Times bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies
“Sometimes the best stories in the library aren’t found on its shelves; they’re walking through its doors and congregating by the reference desk. Sue Halpern knows this and mines the setting for comic and tragicomic gold.”
—Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book Is Overdue! and The Dead Beat