Reviews for The lonely hearts book club

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gilmore, a multigenre author writing under several pen names, turns her attention to contemporary fiction. Sloane Parker is devoted to her job at Coeur d’Alene’s library, in Idaho. New to the field, Sloane still has stars in her eyes. Despite her passion for literature and helping people, though, she considers herself bland. When she meets Arthur McLachlan, a curmudgeon who visits the library in search of people to insult, Sloane finds herself jabbing back. Their banter becomes a daily occurrence, until Arthur doesn’t show up one day. Sloane breaks library rules to find him, ultimately losing her job. To keep the ill man entertained, Sloane starts a new book club, including neighbor Maisey, coworker Mateo, and Arthur’s grandson, Greg. These characters’ stories are daisy-chained together to form the overarching plot. Maisey in particular has a touching arc that explores her lack of connection to her teen daughter. Though the premise may ring false to library workers, readers who enjoy unlikely relationships will be able to suspend disbelief for this funny and charming band of book lovers.

Library Journal
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Librarian Sloane has a lot going on. She's engaged to a chiropractor whose family somewhat endearingly tries to plan her wedding. Her parents are wrapped up in their own lives and fighting with each other. At work, Sloane enters an unlikely almost-friendship with Arthur, a grumpy older patron, that starts with an insult but eventually turns into daily banter. Sloane comes to care about Arthur, and when he doesn't show up at the library for a span of days, she breaks library policy and tracks him down. Sloane soon sees that Arthur is in need of help and companionship and begins caring for him, as well as hosting a book club to help bring him some human interaction. In the days that follow, readers see both Sloane and Arthur grow, and interesting characters complement the relationship of Sloane and Arthur and the book club. Just as readers can get lost in books, they can also use fiction to find themselves, as the members of the Lonely Hearts Book Club come to learn. VERDICT Recommended for public library collections. Romance author Gilmore's (Ruff and Tumble) novel is a fun, sweet read, with a little mystery and intrigue spicing things up.—April Crowder

Publishers Weekly
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Gilmore (I Hate You More) knocks it out of the park with this passionate love letter to books, showing literature’s power to offer solace, understanding, and human connection. When frail but formidable former literature professor Arthur fails to show up to the library as usual, librarian Sloane, who recognizes him as a kindred spirit despite his cantankerousness, correctly guesses that he’s sick and refusing help. Sloane pushes her way into Arthur’s home, and his neighbor Maisey, part-time nurse Mateo, and grandson Greg soon follow. The five protagonists tell their stories in consecutive narrations: Sloane is grieving her sister and engaged to a man she doesn’t love; telephone psychic Maisey struggles to connect with her teenage daughter; charming but listless Mateo can’t commit to a job or to his boyfriend; and Greg’s fulfilling his mother’s dying wish of reconciling with his estranged grandfather. Drawn together by Arthur’s illness, they form an unlikely book club, bonding over The Remains of the Day, The Joy Luck Club, and Anne of Green Gables. While there’s a hint of romance between Sloane and Greg, the real love story here is with stories themselves. Gilmore’s complex characters jump off the page, and readers should have their handkerchiefs ready for some cathartic tears. This is a treat. (Apr.)