Sue Halpern. Summer Hours at the Robbers Library. New York: HarperCollins, 2018.
The saying, “when one door closes another one opens” describes this story.
Riverton, New Hampshire is an old mill town that never recaptured the economic glory of the past. Riverton is a place where people are from. They don’t move to Riverton except when a door closes.
The door of Kit’s marriage closed and she accepted the library job at Riverton’s library in order to escape from it all.
The door of Rusty’s career closed in the financial crash of 2009. He came looking for a fortune he knew he probably would never find. And, he came to the library in order to search for the information he needed.
The door of the law slammed upon Sunny when she was arrested for stealing a dictionary from a store. The judge sentenced her to work in the public library for community service.
A new door opened for all three of these people. The opening doors include friendship, love, stability, community, and unknown wealth.
Halpern gives us an absorbing story of lives transformed in the unlikely arena of the public library. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Sunny explains to Kit why she stole the dictionary.
"It's stupid, really...But it was this thing I read someplace, and it really got to me. It said that a dictionary is every book ever written and every book that will be written, just in a different order. And it seemed magical. You could own every book just by owning one book. I loved that. And I just had to have it." page 34.
Dictionaries. Who knew?