The Lonely Hearts Book Club

- Lucy Gilmore


Sloane Parker lives a small, contained life as a librarian in her small, contained town. She never thinks of herself as lonely…but still she looks forward to that time every day when old curmudgeon Arthur McLachlan comes to browse the shelves and cheerfully insult her. Their sparring is such a highlight of Sloane’s day that when Arthur doesn’t show up one morning, she’s instantly concerned. And then another day passes, and another.

Anxious, Sloane tracks the old man down only to discover him all but bedridden…and desperately struggling to hide how happy he is to see her. Wanting to bring more cheer into Arthur’s gloomy life, Sloane creates an impromptu book club. Slowly, the lonely misfits of their sleepy town begin to find each other, and in their book club, find the joy of unlikely friendship. Because as it turns out, everyone has a special book in their heart—and a reason to get lost (and eventually found) within the pages.



The day I met Arthur McLachlan was perfectly ordinary.


* Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *

absolute favourite:
Reading The Lonely Hearts Book Club made me feel like I might be Sloane; my cold, black heart melted with each new section. Every time a new character became the POV, I was sure they couldn’t be better than the last, but the stories built on top of each other to create a truly wonderful book.

There is something so unassuming about this narrative that completely draws you in. This group of strangers and the book club come together so slowly, without any big or bold movements, that by the time you realise how close they’ve become, you already want them to stay together forever. I could not possibly rank one character over another and came to appreciate each perspective despite not wanting to leave the last one behind.

I may be totally biased thanks to my longstanding love of Anne of Green Gables and how much focus it pulled in The Lonely Hearts Book Club. From the moment Sloane found the brooch, I knew it would come back in a big way, and I couldn’t wait. As a Canadian, it might just be something in my blood, but I will continue to reread the Anne of Green Gables series, probably annually, for the rest of my life.

Sentimental without being sappy, The Lonely Hearts Book Club will crack your heart wide open to make space for this entire cast of quirky, possibly unstable characters. Now excuse me while I dream about becoming a librarian with access to Arthur’s collection.


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