So, this is an odd little book. We are in the basement of the library where our unnamed narrator, one of the librarians, is setting up for the day and has found one of the library patrons who has managed to get himself locked in overnight (I’m pretty sure it’s a man though I can’t remember if that’s ever made explicit) and as she can’t let him out until the library is actually opened. She explains this but I’m not sure if it’s true or she just wants a captive audience for her to vent.
Because we are very much in the world of the unreliable narrator and she is going to let it all out, not just her view of her own position (disappointed in her career), her colleagues and the various strictures of librarianship but the passion she has developed for a young man called Martin who comes to the library to carry out research.
The Library of Unrequited Love is translated from the French and I’m not sure if that’s why the way in which the narrator spoke didn’t ring entirely true with me, but she certainly has a lot to say in such a small book.
I have the feeling that she is older than Martin, not that that matters at all of course but it gave me a sense that her love would remain totally one-sided. Not sure I would like her in person but it was interesting to spend an hour in her company.
My fourth Readathon book.