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The Underground Library: A Novel af Jennifer…
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The Underground Library: A Novel (udgave 2024)

af Jennifer Ryan (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9315292,623 (4.21)9
"On the day Juliet Lansdown reports to work for the first time at Bethnal Green Library, it isn't the bustling hub she's been expecting. But in the face of German attacks, she's determined to make it a place where all of their neighbors feel safe and welcome. Katie Upwood is thrilled to be working at the library too, though she's only there until she heads off to university in the fall. But after the death of her beau on the front lines and unexpected family strife, she's more in need of support than ever. Sofie Baumann, a Jewish refugee without any family to lean on, finds comfort and friendship in Bethnal Green's quickly growing literary community and escapes to the library every chance she gets. But her asylum in London is tied to a domestic work visa issued by an unscrupulous employer, leaving her vulnerable and uncertain where to turn when her work environment becomes unbearable. So when a slew of bombs damage the library, Juliet can't bear to give up on her safe haven of books and relocates the stacks into an Underground station where the city's residents shelter nightly, determined to keep lending out stories that will keep spirits up. But tragedy after tragedy strikes, threatening to unmoor the women and sever the ties of their community. Will Juliet, Kate, and Sofie be able to overcome their own troubles to save the library? Or will the beating heart of their neighborhood be lost forever?"--… (mere)
Medlem:ellink
Titel:The Underground Library: A Novel
Forfattere:Jennifer Ryan (Forfatter)
Info:Ballantine Books (2024), 368 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Underground Library: A Novel af Jennifer Ryan

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» Se også 9 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 15 (næste | vis alle)
Another good read from Jennifer Ryan. Of course, any book about books or libraries is always going to be good for me! This is historical fiction about the library in Bethnal Green which was bombed in the early part of WW2 and moved into the underground train station. Told from the POV of three young women; Juliet Lansdown, the deputy librarian; Katie Upwood, who also works at the library and Sofie Baumann, a young Jewish refugee, we're immersed into this story. ( )
  Dianekeenoy | May 13, 2024 |
Having recently read another novel about the library in the Underground tube station in World War II (The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson), I was equal parts intrigued and concerned about reading another novel on the topic so soon. However, these books are quite different and deal with different time periods so there’s no mixing up of characters or similar fictional events.

The story centres on three women with each chapter focusing on one of them. Juliet is the new deputy librarian at Bethnal Green library and finds opposition to opening the library up to the locals. Sofie has escaped Germany as a Jewish refugee, but her new life as a maid isn’t what she expected. Katie, planning to go university after a summer helping at the library, finds that life has other plans for her. Set in the early days of World War II, the women find that London changes rapidly with the onset of the Blitz. Supported by a number of characters, both good and bad, each woman will find a way of standing up to what is holding them back and become stronger as a result.

Although the library is a central part of the setting for the novel, not all of the plot is directly about it, allowing for other aspects of the war to be explored. The effects of war on soldiers and the first responders are explored through multiple characters with some particularly frank scenes at bomb sites. Restrictions placed on women and social norms are also tested, as are the treatment of refugees. It also touches on domestic violence and Britain’s class system, although these are not explored in depth. For the most part, it’s a light, enjoyable novel that provides a good story with clear ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters. The elderly sisters provide some insight into what has changed for women and the male characters in charge of the library demonstrate the minority role that they felt women played in life. The ending is very positive, perhaps too much for some in the middle of a war but hey, it’s fiction.

The story is quite different to The Little Wartime Library, which takes place later in the war after the library has moved underground and after the Bethnal Green tube disaster. That story has two main characters with a fast plot where everything seems to happen. In contrast, The Underground Library moves more slowly and seems ‘quieter’. The story starts before the library is bombed, and is somewhat less focused on the library with Sofie and Katie’s stories taking place outside of the library. Juliet is also less of an exciting character, always trying to be proper compared to the fiery tempers of Clara and Ruby. The characters overall seemed a bit flat rather than leaping from the page. This story also takes a few liberties with the history at the time. Bethnal Green is a working Tube station in the book and there is a fictitious disaster in the tunnels that occurred in another Tube station in real life. There are also a few factual errors as well as grammatical errors (e.g. sight vs site) which distracted from my enjoyment and should have been picked up in proofreading. Occasionally, the English characters sounded American using language that didn’t quite fit in my opinion. It’s a nice story, but it’s not particularly memorable.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Apr 27, 2024 |
I loved this. Jennifer Ryan is a wonderful author. Wonderful look at England during the war. I appreciate seeing characters grow and change. I'm also happy to have an author I can turn to for escape knowing that things will turn out okay. A light read, but with good depth of character. ( )
  njcur | Mar 29, 2024 |
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

This book has all the good things: A book about a library. About people who love books. Saving books during the London Blitz. People who come together around this makeshift underground library and form a community despite the dangers of war. Of course I wanted to read this one! And it checked all the boxes – heartwarming, friendships, historical fiction, books and book lovers, a bit of romance, and based on actual events.

Many of the characters were endearing, engaging, and resourceful. Main plot, sub plots, and all threads tied up happily at the end. A satisfying, well-researched read that left me more knowledgeable about this time period and wartime in London. And I appreciated how the characters expressed their love of books throughout the novel.

I enjoyed and agreed with so many comments of the characters expressing their thoughts about books and libraries and their importance in their lives. Here are a few quotes:
“To Juliet, a library was more than just a repository for books. It was a spiritual and intellectual adventure, a place to delve into the rich treasure trove of life.” She explains to a friend: “To me books are like old friends, telling us great truths, holding our hands through the difficulties, showing us light and joy at the end of every tunnel. Sometimes all I need is to see my battered copy of Pride and Prejudice to know that the characters are there inside me, warming my spirit, telling me to live life on my own terms, comforting me that everything will be all right in the end. Books are the only thing that keep me going, a kind of home inside my heart.”

I loved the way author Jennifer Ryan was able to show how the books, and the underground library, had created a community during this extremely stressful and dangerous time. Friendships and romances were formed, families were reunited, and people developed courage and strength – all from the books and the library.

After I began reading “The Underground Library” I noticed this novel’s premise of Bethnal Green Library being bombed and relocating to the nearby underground tube station was the same as "The Little Wartime Library" by Kate Thompson but with a different fictional deputy librarian and a new cast of readers and volunteers. They’re each great novels, different enough that they complement one another, and you’ll be glad you read them both! ( )
  PhyllisReads | Mar 21, 2024 |
⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Juliet, Kate and Sophie are brought together during the war. Juliet as a deputy librarian but is finding pushback from the head librarian on all the changes she wants to implement. Kate loves working at the library before leaving for college but is holding a secret that could change everything for herself and family. Sophie is a Jewish refugee sent to England on a work visa, working for an abusive man and trying to locate her family left behind. These women are brought together by their love of books and find the family they always needed, in the midst of bombings.

A different take on the WWII story showing the resilience of those forced to remain behind and what they need to do on a daily basis to get thru. The characters were likable, each with their own issues but showing the human spirit of wanting to help others in the midst of their own issues. I knew of the bombings throughout England, but never realized people were sent underground nightly to sleep. I also didn’t realize about the work visas for refugees at the beginning of the war. We find out how far these women would go to save a beloved library torn apart by bombs while trying to help the war effort and each other. This in turn, helps the town get thru scary times. Book delves into the class struggle, women being treated as second class citizens and what the townspeople were doing to help the war effort. Enjoyable book, well written and researched.

Thanks to Ballantine Corp. and NetGalley for this ARC. This is my honest opinion. ( )
  LoriKBoyd | Mar 21, 2024 |
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"On the day Juliet Lansdown reports to work for the first time at Bethnal Green Library, it isn't the bustling hub she's been expecting. But in the face of German attacks, she's determined to make it a place where all of their neighbors feel safe and welcome. Katie Upwood is thrilled to be working at the library too, though she's only there until she heads off to university in the fall. But after the death of her beau on the front lines and unexpected family strife, she's more in need of support than ever. Sofie Baumann, a Jewish refugee without any family to lean on, finds comfort and friendship in Bethnal Green's quickly growing literary community and escapes to the library every chance she gets. But her asylum in London is tied to a domestic work visa issued by an unscrupulous employer, leaving her vulnerable and uncertain where to turn when her work environment becomes unbearable. So when a slew of bombs damage the library, Juliet can't bear to give up on her safe haven of books and relocates the stacks into an Underground station where the city's residents shelter nightly, determined to keep lending out stories that will keep spirits up. But tragedy after tragedy strikes, threatening to unmoor the women and sever the ties of their community. Will Juliet, Kate, and Sofie be able to overcome their own troubles to save the library? Or will the beating heart of their neighborhood be lost forever?"--

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