Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Library at the Edge of the World” as Want to Read:
The Library at the Edge of the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Library at the Edge of the World

(Finfarran Peninsula #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  5,158 ratings  ·  883 reviews
In the bestselling tradition of Fannie Flagg and Jenny Colgan comes Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s U.S. debut about a local librarian who must find a way to rebuild her community and her own life in this touching, enchanting novel set on Ireland’s stunning West Coast.

As she drives her mobile library van between villages of Ireland’s West Coast, Hanna Casey tries not to think about
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Harper Perennial (first published November 17th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Library at the Edge of the World, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Quiltyknitwit Yes, but the main character is a middle-aged divorced woman in a small Irish village, so I'd imagine a young person wouldn't be very interested.
Mary Berger I couldn't find it on Goodreads by the title, I had to go by author name. I think they are listing it as a series, under the town name.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,158 ratings  ·  883 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it

When Hanna Casey discovers that her husband, a hard-hitting London attorney, has been having a twenty-year-long affair, she packs up her teenage daughter Jazz and flees to her childhood home - a purple cottage on the Finfarren Peninsula of Ireland. Hanna (foolishly) demands nothing in the divorce 😒, and financial constraints make it necessary for her to live with her mother. This is difficult because Hanna's mother, Mary Casey, is a thorny woman who disapproved of Hanna's marriage and has a smug
Dale Harcombe
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who could resist a book with the title of a library at the edge of the world? Not me. The story revolves around Hanna Casey. After separating from her cheating husband, Hanna, in her early fifties, ends up living with her mother on the outskirts of a town in Ireland where she grew up. Her daughter Jazz has a job with an airline company and spends her time flying around the world, coming back every now and then to visit her mother and grandmother or at other times visiting her father in London. H ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
This was a bit hard to get into and rather slow-going at times; a lot of characters to keep track of and not all of them were fun to spend time with. I was especially annoyed that the main character, a trained librarian, was opposed to providing her community with the most basic of library programming and services -- she was against book clubs, for heaven's sake. No wonder her library was threatened with closing. Maybe libraries are different in Ireland than they are here in the U.S., but her at ...more
Susan Johnson
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My best advice on this book is too stick to it even though you might want to put it aside at first. Hanna is unlikable at the beginning. She is starting over after she discovers her husband in her bed with a friend of hers. She leaves London in a huff without getting any money from her well to do husband and returns to her mother's home in western Ireland with her teen-age daughter, Jazz. Boy, does she really show her husband when she takes nothing from their marriage. That will show him (sarca ...more
It sure is a feel good book and I especially enjoyed the setting in a small town Ireland. It sounds like a lovely community. The ending is okay as all goes well, but I feel like there are some few loose ends that need to be tied. I guess there will be a sequel to this. I can’t seem to connect to Hanna most of the time and I don’t think it’s because of the age. There are also a lot of characters that it got so confusing to follow who is who. It started painfully slow for my liking that I find mys ...more
Hannah | The Redhead Reader
Putting this one down early. I cannot stand the main character! I thought with us both being librarians I would really enjoy this but she seems to really hate her job! Perhaps it all changes in the end but I don’t care to find out.
Kate ☀️ Olson
Oh, what an absolutely wonderful book for every book lover on earth! I adored this story of a public library, a woman starting over, family, friends and community set in rural Ireland. The setting is fabulous, the people make my heart happy and the storyline of a librarian saving a library makes this school librarian jump for joy. Thanks a million to the publisher for sending me a complimentary review copy of this title!

Now, if all of that makes me so happy, just IMAGINE how excited I was to fi
May 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Brought book on vacation thinking it would be a good poolside book. The title, set in Ireland did nothing for me. Was too slow, repetitive, and would not get to the point! I love Maeve Binchy books. Did not remind me of her. The characters hardly interacted enough for me to appreciate it more and was not interested in lives of characters. Too boring. Had to quit on pg 245...
Kerry Shoji
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a feel-good book for me. Like the main character in the book, I was a librarian (probably why the title drew me in), and at a point in my life where I was searching to find my place in the world and a community where I belong.
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

I've been feeling stuck when browsing my shelves for my next read, so I've gravitated towards books that are more inside my reading comfort zone. The Library at the Edge of the World was a perfect choice for me this month as I navigate this season of life & reading. As the title suggests, this is a book for book lovers, but also a book for those feeling adrift in the

Delightful read with many endearing moments. I found the characters nicely rounded and the dialogue fully believable. There is so much growth in the main character and the community overall, from the story's onset to its conclusion, it made for a satisfying, believable tale. And of course, the topic of libraries being on budget chopping blocks is quite timely.

The downside, which is really minor quibbles: at times the flow seemed to meander and the middle bogged down just a wee bit and lost a sl
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Hanna Casey is a librarian on Ireland's remote southwestern coast and has returned home after living for some time in England. You see her husband has cheated on her, so she has returned home to start her life over in Ireland. Hanna isn't your regular librarian though. She drives the library van all throughout the coast to the small Irish villages. Hanna currently lives at home with her mother and although she appreciates her, she knows it's time to find her own place. Her great-aunt has left he ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
When I was a student 20 years ago I went to Ireland and subsequently became obsessed with All Things Irish. As an avid reader my reading choices were also influenced, and I read everything I could find by Marian Keyes and Maeve Binchy (20 years ago chick lit was HUGE).
Fast forward to 2017. I received an ARC of The Library at the Edge of the World (thanks Netgalley) and hoped it would bring back some of that old Irish magic. It did.
I found the descriptions of the house on the hill so evo
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a bit predictable, but I didn't mind. Especially when was as warm as a knitted throw around your shoulders. The characters were familiar to me, and well developed. I found myself commiserating with them. This was time well spent.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Not as good as Binchy and the main character had some inconsistencies that bothered me a bit, but this was still a feel-good story for when I was sick :)
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
My new local bookshop (Whitelam Books) offered a "blind date with a book" table in February -- and serendipity was clearly at work because the brown bag I purchased contained this novel about a librarian, set in Ireland! The story is set in the fictional "Finfarra Peninsula" in the rural west of Ireland, and could easily have been the Dingle Peninsula where my husband's huge extended family lives. What fun! The bold adventure proved more poignant and instructional than light-hearted, however: in ...more
It ended the same way it started, in an old house overlooking the sea.
I enjoyed the cast of characters and the story line was very interesting.

Emma Lowe was the narrator of the story. Well done!
Nancy H
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a really good story about a woman who is trying to re-establish herself in a home in Ireland that she had left years before and where she returns after her life in London falls apart. More than that, though, it is the story of a community coming together to save their way of life and to support and love each other. It is a great story and definitely a feel-good read!
I wasn’t so sure at first as Hanna reminded me of those old(er) librarians of my childhood...rigid, no room for fun or noise or anything non book in their library. But all the accessory characters won me over along with her great setting of place. I’ve read very few books that take place in Ireland.

**read for summer reading program—“Library Reads pick”
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of the "Irish Country Doctor..." series and of Maeve Binchy
Fans of Maeve Binchy and Patrick Taylor, rejoice! There's a new Irish author in print and she's taken the best of both these others and added some style and depth of her own to create a really interesting, authentic read.
Divorcee Hanna Casey is the head librarian back in her old home town of Lissbeg, Ireland, but after five years, she is feeling restless, unfulfilled and tired of living with her mother. Hanna's daughter, Jazz, is now an adult and working as a flight attendant with her own life t
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-read
This is a strong testimonial to the importance of place and especially home. Obviously the author loves Ireland and that love permeates the novel. While the story was shallow and predictable, the
charm for me came in the descriptions of nature. It was nice to be transported away to a rugged rural setting where a community pulls together for the "greater good" and the preservation of the culture that they hold dear. The importance of words and books weave through the storyline. This novel was re
After separating from her husband, Hanna Casey returns to her mother's home in Ireland and soon finds herself in the middle of a battle to save her rural hometown.

A pleasant story about a town coming together and the ragtag locals who stand up to 'city hall'. Unfortunately none of the characters really grew on me and the main character, Hanna, was borderline unlikable.

However, it does offer a compelling view of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland and its cozy small town setting should appeal to many rea
I zoned out of most of the book, and based on the reviews, I didn't miss much. It's a pity, because this book does have everything I would normally appreciate - a library connecting its denizens who otherwise have limited opportunities for everything, a complicated, almost curmudgeonly protagonist who learns to live among others, minimal romance and a fight for their way of life. Only, it's extremely boring. Even the narrator's (to my ears) excellent Irish accent for Mary Casey didn't quite pull ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing was well done, but there was very little storyline until the end. Most of the book was about the history of the location and the characters, and a lot of it was very unnecessary to the story. The ending was a bit disappointing, because the way it came about is very implausible, the kind of ending that could only happen in a book, and the kind of ending I wouldn't expect from this kind of book.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
This one was charming at first. Mainly because nothing is so charming as the Irish people. Amirite?!
But overall, I felt the author was amateurish and often had really strange accidents happen to characters that felt forced and faux. Great title, great cover, but just not what I want from a book.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an enjoyable read. I really loved meeting all of the characters in this book and wish the author would write more about the inhabitants of this lovely Irish town (and surrounding area). My favorite was Fury O'Shea what a name!

All in all a great relaxing book that would make a perfect lazy day read. Lose yourself in this lovely Irish town.
Patty Shlonsky
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“She told herself that a letter was nothing but words on paper. But a librarian should know better than anyone how written words, moving through time and space, could change a person’s life.”

After the end of a lengthy marriage and many years living a sophisticated life in London, Hanna Casey finds herself moving in with her widowed mother in the small Irish town of Lissberg (fictional), with 16 year old daughter Jazz (Jasmine) in tow. Hanna left her long term husband Malcolm (and his money) afte
Recently Hannah Casey has questioned her decision of leaving London and her adulterous husband and returning to her childhood home on the fictional beautiful Finfarran peninsula with her testy mother. Now that she employed as the local librarian, she hopes to renovate and move into an abandoned ancestor's cliffside home. However, recent news that she may be losing her job may put an end to the dreams.

This novel was an easy and pleasant read populated by a number of colorful characters, especial
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
This was a cute, heartwarming story about a community trying to save its local library and the characters involved. Gets bonus points for multiple references to one of my favorite authors, Saki.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Please note: I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

I recently did a writing exercise in preparation for NaNoWriMo where we listed things we like to see in books. Mine included a small town setting, strong female characters, a central meeting place, and an underdog. All those wonderful aspects are part of The Library At The Edge Of The World, by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Marriage Clock
  • Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show (A Novel of Ireland, #1)
  • This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information
  • Summer Hours at the Robbers Library
  • Whispers in the Mist
  • The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues
  • The Emperor of Shoes
  • The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses)
  • Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries, and Lore
  • What They Don't Teach You in Library School
  • Lost Luggage (Cyd Redondo #1)
  • An Irish Country Cottage (Irish Country #13)
  • Coromandel Sea Change
  • Ask Bob
  • The Bodhran Makers
  • Lucy's Little Village Book Club
  • The Arms of God
  • Saints and Sinners
See similar books…
Irish writer Felicity Hayes-McCoy is the author of the "Finfarran" novels, set in a fictional county on Ireland's West Coast. Cathy Kelly, bestselling author of "Between Sisters" and "Secrets of a Happy Marriage", describes Felicity's Finfarran books as "a delicious feast", and "sunshine on the page", while Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling author of "The Cafe by the Sea", calls them "charm ...more

Other books in the series

Finfarran Peninsula (5 books)
  • Summer at the Garden Café (Finfarran #2)
  • The Mistletoe Matchmaker (Finfarran #3)
  • The Month of Borrowed Dreams (Finfarran, #4)
  • The Transatlantic Book Club (Finfarran, #5)
“It seemed to him that half the fun of a library was stumbling on treasures by chance...
Conor, in The Library at the Edge of the World”
“Everything in life has its own time to happen. A time to plant, a time to grow, and a time to harvest. And if you take things steady you’ll bring your harvest home.” 2 likes
More quotes…