Publication Date: April 7, 2015 by MacLehose Press
[Special thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the review copy!]
El Pais called The Library of Unrequited Love “a thrilling soliloquy, an exciting breath of love.” The librarian, a single, middle-aged woman, a sharply opinionated and thoughtful bookworm, whose ex-boyfriend left her for another woman, discovers one morning a patron who has been locked in over night.
Against her quiet nature, she starts to talk to him, what results is a soliloquy of frustrations, observations, and anguish, covering–with wit, pathos, and passion–history, literature, the Dewey Decimal System, love, and loneliness, as well as revealing her unrequited passion for a quiet student-researcher named Martin, whose studiousness, grace, and “beautiful neck” strikes her.
Divry’s prose is seamless–never laborious–both funny and poignant. The book’s compactness offers an immersive reading experience that touches universal emotional experiences from the perspective of a bookworm.
I was supposed to review this book months ago, but I didn’t get the chance to read it before my TBR piled up. I’ve been very productive (magically) for the past few weeks, and I decided to go for a short book (progress for Goodreads Reading Challenge!) so I can take a break from the full-length novels.
I struggled with my review copy because there were no chapters and no paragraphs. Once you start the book, you can’t stop till you finish it–unless you find a period at the bottom of a page (I did, about three times?)–and that period is your chance to rest.
I read some reviews on Goodreads and found out that the real book has only one chapter–and one paragraph. My review copy is not defective–the book is really written that way…
…and now I understand.
It was a soliloquy, just like what was said in the summary above.
After reading the reviews of some Goodreads users, I reflected on my own reading experience and realized that the whole story is one-way…
The book gave me a lot of library feels–a lot of bookish feels. Bookworms (and even writers!) will find themselves in the story.
I chose not to rate this book using my standard rating system–but rather, give it solid 4 stars.
The Library of Unrequited love is a mirror for bookworms and humanity alike–it strikes the balance between reality and the heaven in every book that you open.
Final Rating: 4/5
Libraries always have a place in a bookworm’s heart.