The Library at the Edge of the World

The Library at the Edge of the World

A warm, feel-good novel about the importance of finding a place where you belong - perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy.Local librarian Hanna Casey is wondering where it all went wrong ... Driving her mobile library van through Finfarran's farms and villages, she tries not to think of the sophisticated London life she abandoned when she left her cheating husband. Or that she's...

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Title:The Library at the Edge of the World
Author:Felicity Hayes-McCoy
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Library at the Edge of the World Reviews

  • Kate Olson

    Oh, what an absolutely wonderful book for every book lover on earth! I adored this story of a public library, a woman starting over, family, friends and community set in rural Ireland. The setting is fabulous, the people make my heart happy and the storyline of a librarian saving a library makes this school librarian jump for joy. Thanks a million to the publisher for sending me a complimentary review copy of this title!

    Now, if all of that makes me so happy, just IMAGINE how excited I was to fi

    Oh, what an absolutely wonderful book for every book lover on earth! I adored this story of a public library, a woman starting over, family, friends and community set in rural Ireland. The setting is fabulous, the people make my heart happy and the storyline of a librarian saving a library makes this school librarian jump for joy. Thanks a million to the publisher for sending me a complimentary review copy of this title!

    Now, if all of that makes me so happy, just IMAGINE how excited I was to find out that this is actually the first book in a series that was originally published in Ireland and is just now coming to the US from Harper Perennial! AND, the next 2 books in the series are available to buy in the US through Book Depository, so of course I ordered them immediately and can now binge read them the moment they arrive! YAY! The US cover is VERY different from the Irish covers ~ the Irish covers are very much in the "English cozy" style with illustrations and curly cutesy font. Both are great, but I do think this photographic cover will do amazingly well here in the states!

  • Dale Harcombe

    Who could resist a book with the title of a library at the edge of the world? Not me. The story revolves around Hanna Casey. After separating from her cheating husband, Hanna, in her early fifties, ends up living with her mother on the outskirts of a town in Ireland where she grew up. Her daughter Jazz has a job with an airline company and spends her time flying around the world, coming back every now and then to visit her mother and grandmother or at other times visiting her father in London. H

    Who could resist a book with the title of a library at the edge of the world? Not me. The story revolves around Hanna Casey. After separating from her cheating husband, Hanna, in her early fifties, ends up living with her mother on the outskirts of a town in Ireland where she grew up. Her daughter Jazz has a job with an airline company and spends her time flying around the world, coming back every now and then to visit her mother and grandmother or at other times visiting her father in London. Hanna has a job as librarian in the Finfarran Peninsula community. This is a far cry from the lifestyle she lived while married to Malcolm. But given the shortage of jobs in the area, she knows she is lucky to have a job at all. As she drives her mobile library van around the area, Hanna tries to keep herself aloof from the people and even those she works with at the library, like Conor. But then events conspire to change her way of looking at life and of the people around her.

    This is a charming, feel good story. The setting was stunning and the characters were interesting. Even though she can be prickly, I felt sorry for Hanna. Her mother Mary Casey is an aggravating character. No wonder Hanna could not contemplate continuing to live with her and decides to renovate the old house left to her by her great aunt Maggie. Some of Hanna’s interactions with Fury, the builder, are classic. There is a hint of romance in the novel, but it is not the main focus. Basically this is a book about relationships, community and working together. I enjoyed this charming read that leaves the reader feeling in a good place.

  • Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)

    Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

    I've been feeling stuck when browsing my shelves for my next read, so I've gravitated towards books that are more inside my reading comfort zone. The Library at the Edge of the World was a perfect choice for me this month as I navigate this season of life & reading. As the title suggests, this is a book for book lovers, but also a book for those feeling adrift in the

    Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

    I've been feeling stuck when browsing my shelves for my next read, so I've gravitated towards books that are more inside my reading comfort zone. The Library at the Edge of the World was a perfect choice for me this month as I navigate this season of life & reading. As the title suggests, this is a book for book lovers, but also a book for those feeling adrift in their own communities and are searching for belonging.

    The Library at the Edge of the World follows a middle-aged woman named Hanna Casey. While at first glance, Hanna's life may seem picturesque -- a local job as head librarian in her hometown on the gorgeous cliffs of Ireland -- Hanna's life is a bit of a mess. She lives with her aging mother, is always missing her own teenage daughter while she's out exploring the globe, and resents her ex-husband for ruining the life she had built before their divorce. Hanna hadn't planned to live in her struggling hometown of Finfarran -- but when she found her husband in bed with a family friend, thus revealing a twenty-year affair, Hanna uprooted her socialite London life to recuperate in the safety of her childhood home. Now, she's tired of her reserved life and wants a fresh start. An inheritance in the form of a dilapidated cottage presents Hanna with an opportunity to create the home that she's desperately in need of, and gives her an opportunity to put down roots in a community that she's held at arms length.

    While the premise of this book is nothing new -- a broken relationship, the need to start over, and a project for the main character to use as therapy -- I really enjoyed reading this story. I loved the unfamiliar setting, and found myself pining for a trip to Ireland to see the gorgeous views that are described throughout. I also liked the rhythm of this story. It was a slower read for me, and more gentle than many of the books I've read lately. I liked rooting Hanna on as she found her footing and gained independence from her former life, and I found myself cheering on her community too. This novel falls into a category previously defined as "chick lit" but now more often referred to as "women's fiction" and although I sometimes scoff at that labeling for obvious reasons, I'm finding myself more open to reading similar books this year! There are two other books taking place in the same location and with recurring characters, so if you pick up the first and like me, find yourself a new fan of Felicity Hayes-McCoy, then make sure to pick up the others too!

  • Pamela

    Delightful read with many endearing moments. I found the characters nicely rounded and the dialogue fully believable. There is so much growth in the main character and the community overall, from the story's onset to its conclusion, it made for a satisfying, believable tale. And of course, the topic of libraries being on budget chopping blocks is quite timely.

    The downside, which is really minor quibbles: at times the flow seemed to meander and the middle bogged down just a wee bit and lost a sl

    Delightful read with many endearing moments. I found the characters nicely rounded and the dialogue fully believable. There is so much growth in the main character and the community overall, from the story's onset to its conclusion, it made for a satisfying, believable tale. And of course, the topic of libraries being on budget chopping blocks is quite timely.

    The downside, which is really minor quibbles: at times the flow seemed to meander and the middle bogged down just a wee bit and lost a sliver of spunk.

    Overall, I thought it a rather enjoyable read - in the class of lighter faire of noteworthy integrity; less brassy than chick-lit but far from literary, landing somewhere in the middle. And not too heavy with expletives or unsavory content. A fun, weekend read to lift one's spirits in the throes of winter's deepfreeze or a summertime broiler.

    3.5 Rounded up . . .

    FOUR **** Lighter Than Literary, More Substantial than Chick-Lit, Library Lover's Fiction **** STARS

  • Susan Johnson

    My best advice on this book is too stick to it even though you might want to put it aside at first. Hanna is unlikable at the beginning. She is starting over after she discovers her husband in her bed with a friend of hers. She leaves London in a huff without getting any money from her well to do husband and returns to her mother's home in western Ireland with her teen-age daughter, Jazz. Boy, does she really show her husband when she takes nothing from their marriage. That will show him (sarca

    My best advice on this book is too stick to it even though you might want to put it aside at first. Hanna is unlikable at the beginning. She is starting over after she discovers her husband in her bed with a friend of hers. She leaves London in a huff without getting any money from her well to do husband and returns to her mother's home in western Ireland with her teen-age daughter, Jazz. Boy, does she really show her husband when she takes nothing from their marriage. That will show him (sarcasm).

    She gets a job at the local library and drives the mobile bookmobile. She is standoffish and distant to library patrons and all people she meets. She is sure they are all gossiping about her and making fun of her because of her husband's long running affair. How she thinks people will know this without her telling them is beyond me. It's also important to remember that people don't think as much about you as you think they do but there is no talking to stiff necked Hanna. She also picks fights with her mother for no apparent reason. She is no joy to be around.

    Still the drive around the peninsula delivering books is breathtaking. Although the towns are fictional, I am pretty sure it's based on Dingle. As events, unfold Hanna is forced to make some changes to survive. Her job is in danger and she must try to save it. It then becomes a lovely story about a community coming together to make better lives and an area's struggle to thrive while keeping it's history intact. In the end, you shut the book in satisfaction.

  • Barbara

    When Hanna Casey discovers that her husband, a hard-hitting London attorney, has been having a twenty-year-long affair, she packs up her teenage daughter Jazz and flees to her childhood home - a purple cottage on the Finfarren Peninsula of Ireland. Hanna (foolishly) demands nothing in the divorce 😒, and financial constraints make it necessary for her to live with her mother. This is difficult because Hanna's mother, Mary Casey, is a thorny woman who disapproved of Hanna's marriage and has a smug

    When Hanna Casey discovers that her husband, a hard-hitting London attorney, has been having a twenty-year-long affair, she packs up her teenage daughter Jazz and flees to her childhood home - a purple cottage on the Finfarren Peninsula of Ireland. Hanna (foolishly) demands nothing in the divorce 😒, and financial constraints make it necessary for her to live with her mother. This is difficult because Hanna's mother, Mary Casey, is a thorny woman who disapproved of Hanna's marriage and has a smug 'I told you so' attitude.

    Hanna has a degree in library science, and becomes head librarian in the town of Lissberg. In this capacity, Hanna oversees activities in the library building AND drives the library van (bookmobile) up and down the peninsula a couple of times a week. During these jaunts, Hanna stops at schoolhouses and senior daycare centers - where the residents celebrate her visits with homemade cake. Though Hanna is cordial - and helpful to the borrowers - she's a reserved woman, with no interest in small talk or gossip.

    Hanna's part-time assistant at the library is Conor - an enthusiastic young farmer who needs the extra money to help his family. Conor thinks the library should host book clubs and meetings, but Hanna nixes the idea - wanting to keep a buffer between herself and the general public. When Hanna's out with the bookmobile, though, young moms gather in a comfortable nook.....and who knows what they talk about. 😊

    After Jazz grows up, finishes school, and becomes an airline hostess, Hanna feels the time is right to get her own place. As it happens, Hanna's Aunt Maggie left her a dilapidated old clifftop house, and - to the dismay of her mother - Hanna announces she's going to renovate the old junker and move in. Hanna gets a loan from the credit union and prepares to start her project.

    News of this undertaking spreads through the peninsula like wildfire, and an eccentric jack-of-all-trades named Fury O'Shea shows up at Hanna's fixer upper with his dog ('the divil') and appoints himself Hanna's builder. Fury borrows a couple of goats to clear the overgrowth, and proceeds to take charge of the restoration. Hanna gives instructions, Fury ignores them.....and their tug-of-war is quite entertaining. Lest you think this is the beginning of a flirtation between Hanna and Fury, think again.....because attraction lies in another direction.

    When Hanna needs information about building codes and permits, she stops by the Planning Office and meets Brian - who provides the necessary particulars. Hanna and Brian's friendship gets off to a rocky start, but before long the seeds of a (glacially slow) romance are sowed. 💖

    The book is not a romance however. It's the story of a community that works together for a better future.

    During a civic meeting Hanna learns that the city council is about to consider a plan that would use ALL the peninsula's public funds to benefit a small area.....and put money in the pockets of businessmen and politicians. Wanting to help the entire peninsula - and keep her job - Hanna goes into action. She spearheads a movement that would attract tourists, grow heirloom plants, and bring people together. This leads to friendship and fun - and perks for Hanna's future cottage.

    I enjoyed the story, the ambiance of coastal Ireland, and the wide array of characters - including humans, goats, and the divil 🐶 - who made me laugh.

    I think many readers would like this book.

    You can follow my reviews at

  • Desiree

    It sure is a feel good book and I especially enjoyed the setting in a small town Ireland. It sounds like a lovely community. The ending is okay as all goes well, but I feel like there are some few loose ends that need to be tied. I guess there will be a sequel to this. I can’t seem to connect to Hanna most of the time and I don’t think it’s because of the age. There are also a lot of characters that it got so confusing to follow who is who. It started painfully slow for my liking that I find mys

    It sure is a feel good book and I especially enjoyed the setting in a small town Ireland. It sounds like a lovely community. The ending is okay as all goes well, but I feel like there are some few loose ends that need to be tied. I guess there will be a sequel to this. I can’t seem to connect to Hanna most of the time and I don’t think it’s because of the age. There are also a lot of characters that it got so confusing to follow who is who. It started painfully slow for my liking that I find myself skimming some pages because it fails to catch my interest. The conflict came later on in which I feel like a good quarter of the book can be shed off.

    It is well-written, though, and the main reason that I keep reading. That and the second half of the book is so much better that I managed to get through it until the end. From the numerous characters, there are some whom I enjoyed reading than the others. Sister Michael, a nun in the convent, and Fury, the carpenter who’s fixing Hanna’s cottage, both of them helped Hanna save the library and the community. There’s a hint of romance, too, which is not really the focus of the story, which I like. I also love how everyone banded together to save not only the library but the whole community. With all that, I’d say it is still a good read overall. It just needs the kind of reader who will enjoy not only the writing style but also the lovely setting in Ireland.

  • Laurie

    This was a bit hard to get into and rather slow-going at times; a lot of characters to keep track of and not all of them were fun to spend time with. I was especially annoyed that the main character, a trained librarian, was opposed to providing her community with the most basic of library programming and services -- she was against book clubs, for heaven's sake. No wonder her library was threatened with closing. Maybe libraries are different in Ireland than they are here in the U.S., but her at

    This was a bit hard to get into and rather slow-going at times; a lot of characters to keep track of and not all of them were fun to spend time with. I was especially annoyed that the main character, a trained librarian, was opposed to providing her community with the most basic of library programming and services -- she was against book clubs, for heaven's sake. No wonder her library was threatened with closing. Maybe libraries are different in Ireland than they are here in the U.S., but her attitude was baffling to me as a librarian.

    Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Hannah (Lemonade Library)

    Putting this one down early. I cannot stand the main character! I thought with us both being librarians I would really enjoy this but she seems to really hate her job! Perhaps it all changes in the end but I don’t care to find out.

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