Book Review: Mobile Library by David Whitehouse

What’s it about?

Twelve-year-old Bobby Nusku is an archivist of his mother. He catalogues traces of her life and waits for her to return home.

Bobby thinks that he’s been left to face the world alone until he meets lonely single mother Val and her daughter Rosa. They spend a magical summer together, discovering the books in the mobile library where Val works as a cleaner. But as the summer draws to a close, Bobby finds himself in trouble and Val is in danger of losing her job. There’s only one thing to do — and so they take to the road in the mobile library . . .




My thoughts

Well what book-lover isn’t going to love a book about books set in a mobile library! Not many…but this book is so much more.  More than books I hear your question, yep this book’s basis and what prompts the whole mobile library adventure is utterly heart-breaking!

I can’t remember who recommended this but it was quite some time ago (well over a year) and I honestly thought I was picking up something light and fluffy given its delightful cover.  Oh how I was taken in! At the root of this book lies child abuse, neglect and bullying – there should be a mascara warning, it made my heart sink and my palms clammy especially that scene with Sunny! If you’ve read it, you’ll know!

That said, I adored this book for its references to other books, and not just the children’s books; books that I’d forgotten that I’d read and books that I should read.  I loved how they became this mismatched family and I hoped and wished that Bobby and Rosa would be allowed to carry on their adventure under the radar and live out their childhoods only knowing the mobile library with the happiness and love that Bobby had been shown and craved so much.

However, why oh why did the author decide that the first chapter should be THE END!!!! That’s no spoiler, the first chapter is actually entitled The End.  So throughout the whole book I knew what was coming…I just don’t understand the thought process behind that.  If you’re reading this and have read it, please let me know what you think.  Despite this there’s still plenty to hold the reader’s interest (I don’t want to say that word t**st), I still loved the book and am still thinking about Bobby, Rosa and Val sitting in that library on the cliff edge…..

p.s This is a book mostly for all ages, I would have loved to pass it onto my 12-year-old niece but I think there’s one use of the f-word which is a shame.  It’ll have to wait a little while longer.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 273
Publisher: Picador

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