Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Borrower

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai has an intriguing premise that grabbed my attention right away: Lucy, a disenchanted, twenty-something children's librarian, inadvertently kidnaps one of her favorite patrons when she finds him hiding in the library after he runs away from home. Instead of returning him to his strict, overbearing mother, she allows herself to be cajoled into taking him on what ends up being a cross country road trip.

There's a lot to like about this book, from its quirky characters to its many literary references. Something kept me from loving it, though, and I'm finding it hard to put my finger on exactly what. There were times when I felt like the author was a little too heavy handed with the way she treated certain things, like Lucy's Russian immigrant father who, though humorously and vividly drawn, veers headfirst into a Russian mafia cliche, or the way in which Lucy's conflicting feelings about her actions seem to repeat the same cycle throughout the story, to the point where I felt like I was being hit over the head with her inner conflict. Since the plot itself is a bit outlandish to begin with, I thought it could have been better balanced by more subtle treatment of certain characters and themes.

Overall, an interesting, worthwhile read (especially for library lovers), but not a favorite.

1 comment:

  1. I've had a number of reading experiences like this recently: a pretty good book, but nothing amazing. It's a little disappointing, but I suppose statistically, there are bound to be more mediocre books than fantastic ones.



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