The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow: A Novel

Written by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Review by Rebecca Cochran

This is a sweet tale of three main characters, during the beginning of the Great Depression, drawn together by their work at a tiny library. Bettina, a local, thrives on her job as a packhorse librarian. That and her plan to marry the handsome Emmet Tharp are the bright spots in her otherwise sad life. Addie Cowherd dreams of being a published author, but when the Great Depression intervenes, she must drop out of college and find employment instead. She winds up as a traveling librarian in Boone’s Hollow. Addie encounters distrust and old-fashioned superstitions in the townspeople, but she does not let this deter her plans to succeed. Emmet Tharp is the first person to graduate college from his hometown in Boone’s Hollow. But with limited career opportunities, he returns home and considers joining his father in the coal mine. Then a sudden opening at the local library gives him a chance at success. However, he must contend with an overly affectionate Bettina, the prejudices of the town, and the disappointment of his father, not to mention a mysterious break-in that causes an upheaval at the library.

The narrative switches among Bettina, Addie, and Emmet, creating a nice snapshot of three very different perspectives of Boone’s Hollow. One gains a sense that the townsfolk are tightknit, close-minded, and suspicious of strangers. While Bettina is a little over-the-top dramatic, and Addie just a little too sweet, there is still much to appreciate with these three heroes. There is some mystery and good historical elements, but I was slightly disappointed with the lack of romance. The ending is a bit abrupt, and the epilogue not quite conclusive. Nevertheless, this is a delightful, cozy novel with some Christian elements.