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The Borrower

by Rebecca Makkai
£7.99   paperback  Cornerstone (Windmill Books) (2012)

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai In this delightful, funny and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road.
 
Lucy Hull, a 26-year-old children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favourite patron, 10-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly anti-gay classes.
 
Lucy, a rebel at heart beneath her librarian's exterior, stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours, with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embark on an improvised road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets and an inconvenient boyfriend thrown in their path. Along the way, Lucy struggles to make peace with her Russian immigrant father and his fugitive past, and is forced to use his shady connections to escape discovery.
 
But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the strange man on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

ISBN 13: 9780099538127 | ISBN 10: 0099538121