Book Club Kit: The Library by Bella Osborne | Jo Linsdell

Book Club Kit: The Library by Bella Osborne


Book Club Kit The Library by Bella Osborne @osborne_bella

Book Club Kit

The Library by Bella Osborne

Please be aware going into this post that it is for people who have read the book and therefore contains some spoilers.

About the book

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Number of pages: 341

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1801100489
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1801100489

Published: September 2021

Purchasing links:  Amazon - Barnes and Noble 

Book Covers

The Library by Bella Osborne book covers

Book Synopsis

An unlikely friendship forms between a sixteen-year-old boy and a seventy-two-year-old woman as they rally the community to save their local library.

Tom is invisible. He happily blends into the background of life. But Farah Shah changes everything. Farah makes Tom want to stand up and be seen – at least by her. So Tom quickly decides the best way to learn about women is to delve into romance novels, and he finds himself at the village library where he befriends 72-year-old Maggie.

Maggie has been happily alone for ten years, at least this is what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue after a library meeting, never did she imagine a friendship that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom navigate the best way to ask out Farrah, Tom helps Maggie realize the mistakes of her past won't define her future.

But when the library comes under threat of closure, it's up to Tom and Maggie to rally the community and save the library!

Will these two unlikely friends be able to bring everyone together and save their library?

About the Author

Bella Osborne, Author of  The Library

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.

In 2016, her debut novel, 'It Started At Sunset Cottage', was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Her novels are often serialised in four parts ahead of the full book publication.

Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

Author Interviews

"I think the genres choose me. I had written eight romantic comedies when some characters popped into my head and I knew they were very different. They were Tom and Maggie and that book became The Library which was a book club read. My agent, Kate Nash, found a home for that book and when the publishers wanted a two book contract I floated the idea of The Girls which thankfully they loved. So I’m now writing in two genres but who knows what might pop into my head next?" @storywhispers Read the full interview 

"I was lucky enough to meet my first editor at an RNA conference and from there I signed a two book deal. So the answer to how long did it take to get published depends on your starting point – either 45 years or eighteen months!"   @book_problem Read the full interview

Book Reviews

My Review of The Library by Bella Osborne. This was a 5 star read for me and one of my favourite reads of 2022 so far.

I adored everything about this brilliantly insightful and thoughtfully written hybrid of women’s fiction, family drama, and coming-of-age genres. The endearing characters were enticingly flawed and their struggles were so compellingly written even those with the coldest of hearts would be drawn to them. @Honolulubelle Read the full review here.


I loved this story, with its strong central characters and the library front and centre. By the end of the story it made me determined to make the most of my local library before it is too late. There is a part of me that hopes I find a Maggie there. @Bookmadjo Read the full review


This is one of those books where I eeked out the reading of it. I rarely do that with books but I only read 20% max at a time because it was just so good and so lovely and I wanted to take in all of the detail since it's the first novel I've read like this from Bella Osborne. I loved it and I highly recommend it. @fabbookfiend Read the full review

It’s hard to convey what a charming, affecting, uplifting and entertaining read it is. What could be better than to read a story based around a library that references lots of other wonderful books, and makes the reader feel every bit as much part of the story as Maggie and Tom? This means that the impact of reading The Library lasts long after the story has been enjoyed. @My_Weekly Read the full review 

With such a mixture of sadness and fun, you can be confident you will enjoy this immensely. @bookslifethings Read the full review

I found I enjoyed this book much more than I expected, and I really liked the way Tom and Maggie’s relationship developed. The author made me care about these characters and the banter between Maggie and Tom was excellent, especially after they grew to care about each other. @BashfulBookwm Read the full review 

...when I find a book I really enjoy, I often recommend it to my book club – who can sometimes be a little bit sniffy about the contemporary fiction I choose to read. Every one of them read this one, and every one of them thoroughly enjoyed it – and that just confirmed that this book really was something particularly special. I recommend it to everyone without reservation – one of my books of the year. @Williams13Anne  Read the full review 

Discussion Questions

How important do you think it is to have a local library? 

How often do you visit your library?

Books aside, what other services does your library offer/do you wish it offered?

Alcoholism is an important part of the book. Do you think it was right for Tom to leave his dad?

Should Maggie have been more upfront with Tom about her past? 

How did the characters change throughout the story?

Quotes from The Library by Bella Osborne

My skin heats up if I make eye contact with a girl. I think it might be something in my DNA that’s trying to stop me breeding another generation of invisible people.

Maggie liked it at the library; she always had. Books provided a secret door to escape through –something she had often been grateful for in her life. She’d been grateful of the library too. Many a time she’d needed somewhere safe and quiet to run to and the library had never let her down.

Loneliness had crept up on her like damp seeping into her soul. She often thought about all the times in her life when she had wished for more time and now here she was with oodles of the stuff stretching out before her like it had all been saved up and paid with interest when she needed it least.

She picked up her current read. Reading was her other escape. Another world she could step into and be surrounded by characters brought to life on the page. She could meet untold people and live a thousand exciting lives through the pages. It was her solace and always had been ever since she was a child. It had helped her in difficult times –of which she had experienced many. And now reading helped ease the lack of human contact.

“If she'd realised the last time she was hugged was significant she would have paid more attention, committed it to memory so she could recall the sensations at will for the many times since, when all she had needed had been for someone to hold her.”


There was something oddly isolating about being surrounded by people and yet completely alone.

‘We often think of the oddest, most irrelevant things, at difficult times. We seek out the little things we can cope with while we process the things we can’t.’

I ended up sleeping on the sofa, but I didn’t mind. I could stare at those dogs for hours. Actually I did stare at them for hours. Who needs TV when you’ve got puppies?


“Dogs are awesome. They don't care if you're clever or not; they just like to hang out with you” 


‘I practise jujitsu, judo and some elements of aikido. All to a reasonable level.’… ‘Bloody hell, you’re the geriatric version of Bruce Lee!’

‘Friends aren’t merely the tumbleweed of faces that roll in and out of your life. Friends are the ones you connect with and who last a lifetime. You’ll pass a million people on your path and just a few will be worth spending time with.’


How could one small building become so important? She thought about the people all those years ago who would have fought for it to become a library, who would have first stocked its shelves. Found sanctuary in the pages of its books. And all those it had brought joy and refuge to in its years as a library. There was a lot of history in its walls.

Books are such an underrated essential. Every book is a key that unlocks another world, leads us down the path of a different life and offers the chance to explore an unexpected adventure. Every one is a gift of either knowledge, entertainment or pure escapism and goodness knows we all need that from time to time.


All the books mentioned in The Library by Bella Osborne


Book Club Kit The Library by Bella Osborne @osborne_bella

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