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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

At first, I thought I was going to love The Borrower, but in the end, I didn't.

The beginning was interesting and quirky, but the story and some of the characters were ultimately...just disagreeable.

Here's a bit from Kirkus Review:

A children’s librarian in Hannibal, Mo., finds herself on a long, strange trip in Makkai’s ruminative first novel.
Lucy Hull feels sorry for Ian Drake, the most devoted attendee of her read-aloud on Friday afternoons. Ian’s reading is severely circumscribed by his mother’s fundamentalist strictures, which rule out everything from Roald Dahl to Harry Potter. Lucy is further appalled when she learns that Ian—whom everyone assumes is gay, though he’s only 10—is forced to attend weekly classes with Pastor Bob, who specializes in rehabilitating “sexually confused brothers and sisters in Christ.” So when Lucy finds Ian hiding in the library one morning with a knapsack, she decides to help him run away. 
I found the book irritating and heavy-handed.  I only finished because at the time, I'd run out of library books and didn't have anything really calling to me.
Fiction.  2011.  336 pages.


  1. I was so glad to read your review of this. I borrowed this book from the library not long after it came out and after about 20 pages had begun to get annoyed with it and could see that it was only going to get worse. Too bad too because it has such a good premise.

  2. It did sound so promising, didn't it? Unfortunately, it was annoying as well as unrealistic.

  3. That's too bad. I will probably just skip this...

  4. Not a bad idea. Too many better ones on offer!

  5. I'm about halfway through this one and enjoying it, but I know what you mean. It's pretty far-fetched and I'm annoyed at the fact that the poor child is considered gay by everyone. He's so young!! That part just does not make sense to me at all. Plus, I want to knock that librarian on the head for not calling someone, but . . . otherwise, I am really finding it entertaining.

  6. I just finished this and ended up kind of hating it, in the end. I'm not sure I'll even review it!! I'm that irritated.

  7. Nancy - The end was the worst, wasn't it? Running off with a kid because you didn't like the parents' book restrictions was pretty screwy, too.