Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Summer Read: The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai

The BorrowerFunny, touching and heartfelt, The Borrower takes you on a journey with two unlikely travelers. Lucy Hull is a 26-year-old children’s librarian adrift in a small Missouri town. Her strongest connection is to a young patron, 10-year-old Ian Drake, whose overbearing mother censors his book choices and sends him to anti-gay classes.  At first, Lucy’s rebellion is surreptitious – she checks out beloved children’s books on her own card, then slips them to Ian – but it becomes an act of anarchy when she ends up helping Ian to run away.  The two embark on a crazy car trip, supposedly in search of Ian’s grandmother and funded by Lucy’s mysterious Russian-mafia type father.   All of this could have become just too zany, but Makkai keeps it real by creating memorable, rounded characters that you root for. Makkai has a wonderful ability to blend comedy and pathos.  Lucy and Ian encounter many strange companions and learn important lessons in this tale that draws inspiration from the Wizard of Oz, just one of the many literary references in the book.  It’s a winning first novel for author Rebecca Makkai, who lives in Chicago and may make a stop at Beehive Books this fall if we can convince her to take a road trip of her own.  

By: Erin

No comments: