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The Library at the Edge of the World

(Finfarran Peninsula #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  6,928 ratings  ·  1,142 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)
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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.…moreYes, 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.(less)
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.…moreI 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.(less)

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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  6,928 ratings  ·  1,142 reviews

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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
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.
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
mindful.librarian ☀️
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
L.A. Starks
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This well-written super-cozy spirits readers away to small towns in western Ireland. Its heart is the mother-daughter-grandmother family relationships--Hanna is the librarian-protagonist. Like Alexander McCall Smith's series that introduces a lovely, even-keeled Botswana to the world, perhaps a few readers will find themselves travelling to the Irish peninsulas. For the rest of us, this book is perfect for taking us there.

Very humane. Recommended to readers who like books about family dynamics a
This is a good book for the beach when you just want to relax, sort of like a Hallmark movie. I am not a fan of romance, but although there are hints and instances of the same, there is actually a story. It can be a bit slow in parts, but the ending is most fun and well crafted. The setting is Ireland, so if you have affection for same, you will certainly enjoy this. Characters are well filled out and not overwhelming (as in some books I've read in the last year). The author is also involved in ...more
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...
I got this book thinking it was non-fiction. I was wrong, sigh. And on top of that it is romance fiction. Hanna Casey has come back home from London after a divorce. The story purports to be about a mobile library (bookmobile) wandering rural Ireland. In reality, this story hardly figures into the plot. Hanna divorced a very rich man and didn't want any settlement. They have a teenage daughter and she doesn't have a job. This is the first clue that this woman is hopeless. There is a ridiculous ...more
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 their o
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.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Summer reading programs at libraries are fun!

I'm not talking about the required reading for middle and high schoolers during the months of June, July, and August, though those are a big deal at my job (which is at a library, for those who don't know). Instead, I'm talking about the drawings and such they have during the summer months where reading books earn you prizes. Though the 'berry I work for doesn't allow its staff to participate in the same contests as the patrons, I have won prizes as p
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
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
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!
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
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”
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. ...more
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
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. ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hanna Casey moves back to Ireland's Finfarrin Peninsula, accepting a job with the local library. Local issues threaten the library's existence. This installment lacked a real plot. It seemed an attempt to acquaint readers with characters. I normally love a book with an Irish setting or one involving a library. The book, however, failed to strike a home run. I did not hate the book, but the lack of plot contributed to its low rating. ...more
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.
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.
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Play Book Tag: The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy - 3 stars 1 14 May 04, 2019 12:45PM  

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USA Today bestselling Irish writer Felicity Hayes-McCoy is the author of the 'Finfarran' novels, set in a fictional county on Ireland's West Coast. Marian Keyes calls her writing "a pitch-perfect delight", Cathy Kelly, bestselling author of "Between Sisters" and "Secrets of a Happy Marriage", has described the Finfarran books as "a delicious feast", and "sunshine on the page", while Jenny Colgan, ...more

Other books in the series

Finfarran Peninsula (5 books)
  • Summer at the Garden Café (Finfarran #2)
  • The Mistletoe Matchmaker (Finfarran Peninsula, #3)
  • The Month of Borrowed Dreams (Finfarran, #4)
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