The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai (2011)

borrowerThe story begins with a prelude, perchance a prayer for forgiveness, by a children’s librarian (Lucy) because of a cross country trip with her young patron (Ian) trying to escape, perhaps a respite, from his controlling mother. There are strict reading restrictions and a workshop for gender stability all weighting heavily on a ten-year-old boy.

A Christmas gift with a message from the boy to the librarian followed by an overnight campout at the library launch the pair on their journey. As the trip moves along, the reader may wonder if this is a kidnapping, and if so, who is the kidnaper and who is the victim. Several interesting characters are met along the way including the librarian’s parents who clearly care for their daughter and don’t mind using devious ways to straighten her path. Check out The Borrower, which is Rebecca Makkai’s debut novel.

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