Synopsis

The provocative and hilarious summer read that will have book lovers cheering and everyone talking! Kirsten Miller, author of The Change, brings us a bracing, wildly entertaining satire about a small Southern town, a pitched battle over banned books, and a little lending library that changes everything.

Beverly Underwood and her arch enemy, Lula Dean, live in the tiny town of Troy, Georgia, where they were born and raised. Now Beverly is on the school board, and Lula has become a local celebrity by embarking on mission to rid the public libraries of all inappropriate books—none of which she’s actually read. To replace the “pornographic” books she’s challenged at the local public library, Lula starts her own lending library in front of her home: a cute wooden hutch with glass doors and neat rows of the worthy literature that she’s sure the town’s readers need.

But Beverly’s daughter Lindsay sneaks in by night and secretly fills Lula Dean’s little free library with banned books wrapped in “wholesome” dust jackets. The Girl’s Guide to the Revolution is wrapped in the cover of The Southern Belle’s Guide to Etiquette. A jacket that belongs to Our Confederate Heroes ends up on Beloved. One by one, neighbors who borrow books from Lula Dean’s library find their lives changed in unexpected ways. Finally, one of Lula Dean’s enemies discovers the library and decides to turn the tables on her, just as Lula and Beverly are running against each other to replace the town’s disgraced mayor.

That’s when all the townspeople who’ve been borrowing from Lula’s library begin to reveal themselves. It’s a diverse and surprising bunch—including the local postman, the prom queen, housewives, a farmer, and the former DA—all of whom have been changed by what they’ve read. When Lindsay is forced to own up to what she’s done, the showdown that’s been brewing between Beverly and Lula will roil the whole town…and change it forever.

Audiobook review

ALL THE STARS

Kirsten Miller is a master storyteller.

That book should be read by everyone, especially folks living in the US as banning books is a hot topic there.

That book is clever, tender, funny, frightening with its realness.

The plots centers around Luna Dean, lonely woman from the small southern town of Troy who will garner attention in banning “unsafe” books from the local library. She will build a personal small library and will loan books deemed acceptable.

Luna’s rival ‘s daughter, Lindsey,  will switch Luna’s books with banned books keeping their “safe” jacket.

Luna Dean’s is told from multiple POV, the voices of Troy’s citizens who will be changed by Luna’s library.

It reads like a collection of small stories orbiting around the central topic: banned books and censorship. All these individual short stories are expertly interwoven to mingle together and give a big life lesson. Some will think it too convenient but I just found it remarkable.

The message is too important in these times of mass manipulation through fake news and starvation of the minds in banning books.

A book will never make you gay or won’t make a pervert of you. What a book will do is open your eyes, educate you and make you more tolerant. Reading is a privilege, getting an education is being lucky, that’s what the author is reminding us.

The community is at the center of that story and we witness all the good, bad and evil in said community.

With characters like a dumb movie star, an 85 lawyer whose family is circling like sharks to get their hands on her house, the rebel prom queen, the young black queer, the abused young man who has been rejected all his life and who is looking for a hero and a friend even if it’s in a nazi cult,…all these characters gave life to the story.

I must even confess that I cried for Logan (you’ll know whom I am speaking of when you read the book) and that says a lot about Kirsten Miller’s gift to give life to her characters.

I laughed, rejoiced, despaired, cried and enjoyed every moment of my read. That book will have its place on my top 5 of 2024 there is no doubt!

Thanks for reading.

Sophie

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