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The Library Thief

"With layers of intrigue, this captivating debut historical novel ultimately focuses on the power of inclusivity, hope, and love."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

With layers of intrigue, this captivating debut historical novel ultimately focuses on the power of inclusivity, hope, and love. Florence talks her way into a bookbinding commission at Rose Hall in 1896, on learning of the suspicious death of Lord Belfield’s wife, she determines to find answers. Even though this is clearly a historical novel, there is a timelessness to the issues within and the way they have been written. Author Kuchenga Shenje has created a number of themes, some of them emotionally dark and challenging. She writes with compassion and empathy without shying away from the difficult times contained within. Topics of friendship, love and hate, and inclusivity and prejudice, also sit alongside the main mystery. The library of books, bookbinding, and books mentioned helps to create a real sense of place. I connected with Florence as a narrator, it feels as though this is a coming of age story as she explores possibilities and her own potential. She is full of kindness, with the levels of tenacity and self-assurance needed to make her own way in a world. The main mystery itself flows through the novel, creating waves of tension. From this, offshoots of secrets and lies slip and slide into place creating further twists within the story. As I read the final few chapters my emotions settled and I felt a sense of satisfaction. With multiple themes and a central mystery, The Library Thief is a rewarding historical novel.

Liz Robinson

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