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Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  5,882 ratings  ·  969 reviews

From journalist and author Sue Halpern comes a wry, observant look at contemporary life and its refugees.  Halpern’s novel is an unforgettable tale of family...the kind you come from and the kind you create.

People are drawn to libraries for all kinds of reasons. Most come for the books themselves, of course; some come to borrow companionship. For head librarian Kit, the pu

Kindle Edition, 387 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Harper Perennial
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Janeil It is referring to the Rainbow family which were/are a loosely knit group of alternative lifestyle members many of whom are hold overs from the Hippie…moreIt is referring to the Rainbow family which were/are a loosely knit group of alternative lifestyle members many of whom are hold overs from the Hippie days.(less)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,882 ratings  ·  969 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quiet novel, a character driven novel where I just fell in love with these characters. Plus, it takes place, mostly in a library, and in a state where not many books are set, a small town in new Hampshire. Three people from disparate backgrounds, seeking a new start in their lives, come together hoping to find the something of which they did not know they were looking. Kit, librarian, has made a new, quiet life for herself in this small town. Sunny, a young teenager girl, with unorthodox paren ...more
Angela M
3.5 stars

It was easy to be drawn into this book. As a retired librarian, this place and the people who work there and the people who hang out there of course, appealed to me. It’s mostly about three characters whose lives become connected at this Library. Kit is the reference Librarian and her past life is somewhat of a mystery, although we get the story in bits and pieces - her marriage, her therapy sessions as it slowly becomes clear. Sunny is probably favorite character, a fifteen year old g
"I realize no one thinks being a librarian is as awesome as being a neurosurgeon, but I always thought I was doing something valuable, putting books in the hands of readers. Books can save lives, too. I really believe that."

Ah, if only the rest of the book was as great as that quote.

It seems I'm unable to resist any book with the word library in the title; I only wish this one had been a little more library, and a little less soap opera. Three main characters, all sort of floundering, are thrown
Barely broke the cover and I quit, was expecting library chatter, not college sex, if I don't like it instantly I quit chic lit before the blink of an eye.
Kim Overstreet
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern is the story of a dying New Hampshire small town, and a group of very lonely people that meet at the town’s library as each is dealing with a personal trauma. Kit, the reference librarian, is recovering from something devastating that happened in a marriage. 15 year-old Sunny longs for structure and stability her hippie parents are unwilling to provide; and Rusty, a refugee from Wall Street during the Great Recession, is searching for a new iden ...more
Ironical Dins
The ending is what sealed this book’s rating for me- I won’t reveal anything, but it just wasn’t executed well. I felt like the novel was almost superficially following the main characters, if that makes sense. I also kept thinking of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novels. They are such rich character studies, and it seemed like that’s what Halpern was aiming for, but it just fell short for me.
lucky little cat
Lovely story of idealists and romantics, several with mysterious pasts,

who come together at a small-town library. I'm indebted to Gloria for her fabulous review, which made me want to read the book immediately.
Alex Yard
This was dull, nothing too offensive but nothing special, a plot structure that's all too predictable and feels like it's been done, it's some combination of Manchester by the Sea and Captain Fantastic, but more stale and forgettable.
I got an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, which appears on
Apr 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Books about books, reading, bookstores, libraries, literacy, etc. are often a weakness for me and this sounded exactly like a type of book that I'd like. A bunch of characters are thrown together by circumstance and because of the setting (and a library certainly tends to attract a wide range of people) learn to sort through what happened/what is happening and how to move forward and what they take from the experience.

Great concepts but very poor execution. Having a first chapter where a charact
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rather enchanting,heartwarming and cozy read about some wayward souls who end up, under differing circumstances, in the small declining town of Riverton, New Hampshire. They try to address and work their way through their personal life’s challenges instead of hiding or running from it.

At the beginning we read of Kit’s young lust and then love. Was it truly love or was it just comfortable? Was it self sustaining or was it a facade? Were both parties really in it 100% or was one giving up who t
Book Concierge
Digital audiobook performed by Josh Bloomberg, Dara Rosenberg and Allyson Ryan

Three people running from their past (or present) find the help they need at the library. Kit is the head librarian at the Riverton, NH library; she likes the peace she finds there and the ability to hide from her disastrous past. Fifteen-year-old Sunny has been home-schooled (or “no-schooled” as she sometimes refers to it), and assigned to work for the summer at the library in lieu of a sentence for shoplifting
What I liked: The characters, especially Sunny. Sunny is the over the top teenage girl sentenced to community service for pilfering a dictionary from a local bookstore. She is being raised by oddball, off the grid parents Willow and Steve and is outrageously bright and entertaining.
The novel is character driven, ambling slowly through the stories of librarian Kit, Rusty who joins the Robbers Library to search the Internet, Sunny who loves books and is volunteered by the judge, The Four Old Guy
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF @ 25%
2018; Harper Perennial/HarperCollins Canada

I love books about books. I read The Bookshop on the Corner and loved it a lot more than I thought I would, so I was excited about dipping into this one. We have a small town, a library, and quirky characters sooooo I should have loved this book. My major problem was that this book was all over the place. I am not sure if Halpern knew what she wanted to focus on. I didn't get the third narrator on the audio, maybe it was later explained. but i
mindful.librarian ☀️
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy!

This one was a lot heavier than I initially anticipated it would be, but not overly so. If you like books about libraries and librarians and appreciate a little heft in your women's fiction, definitely look for this one!
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I picked up the ARC because it involved a library. Kit takes a job as a librarian in the dying industrial town of Riverton, NH for reasons that are gradually revealed. The library is a refuge not only for Kit but also for Sunny, the teenage daughter of contemporary hippies, and Rusty, a displaced financier who lost his job on Wall Street after the crash of 2008. These 3 very different people discover a common bond through the library. Hal ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Some day I'll learn to stop being taken in by books that take place in libraries and bookshops. Two stars is probably a bit harsh, because this was passable entertainment. There just wasn't anything fresh or original. The characters didn't seem realistic. There was no one to cheer for. It dealt with varying stories of abuse that never seemed labeled as such, abusers forgiven and written off as boys being boys and so on.
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book. There are lots of negative reviews here, and, I don't know - I just don't agree, I guess. I liked the story of Kit, and how you don't exactly know what happened to her (or rather, to her marriage) until later on in the story. Kit is a realistic character - actually, I feel like most of the characters are well developed, although they don't go that deep, except for Rusty, Kit and Sunny.

I enjoyed how the book was set up with the quotes and defined words for Sunny.

As a librari
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites

What started out as a slow read became a lively, lovely story about a small town library, its workers, patrons and denizens about. Reference worker, Kit is recovering from a marriage that failed miserably, its demise slowly revealed as the story progresses. Teenage Sunny is sentenced to work there after lifting a dictionary from a store. Situationally transient, Rusty becomes one of the regulars that take up the mornings.

With resistance to opening herself up, Kit slowly bonds with these two. The
Kristy Miller
Three strangers find each other over a summer in a small dying town in New Hampshire. Sunny and her parents lead an odd life. When Sunny is caught stealing a dictionary from the book store she is sentenced to work 40 hours a week at the small local library. Kit is running from some terrible events in her past. She has come to Riverton to live a quite, anonymous life, and be alone. But Sunny works her way in to Kit's life. And then Rusty arrives. A Wall Street trader who lost everything after the ...more
Barb Martin
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novels set in libraries or bookstores always seem to be filled with warmhearted misfits. "Summer Hours at the Robbers Library" follows that same outline, but our misfits' stories unfold in chapters and include characters we learn to love.

Kit is sad and insulated against feelings and people. Sunny is a 15-year-old girl who knows more about smashing the patriarchy than she does pop culture. Rusty had a career and more cash than he knew what to do with . . . until he didn't. Together, they form a f
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked this! Set in a decaying New Hampshire industrial town with an old Carnegie library. It had the potential to be a cute, feel-good read with a requisite happy ending, but proved more than that I relished the complex characters and their complicated problems, and appreciated an ending that felt hopeful but realistic. You could call this a “family drama” about people with non-traditional family bonds.
Chris Conley
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when I stumble across a book by someone I don’t know and about which I only know the blurb and it turns out to be wonderful. This story is one of those. Kit, Sunny, Rusty and all the Riverton cast of characters caught me from page one. This is a lovely story about how we make our lives work.
Helen Dunn
Cute book about a small town library and the people who frequent it. Some "lost" people find one another and get themselves on a better road to a happy life just by spending time together at the library.

Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I surprised myself by really enjoying this book. I received an ARC copy and highly recommend. Head Librarian Kit has a past and it is teased out throughout the story. I ate it with a spoon. I wanted to know what was up with her! Rusty, Sunny and the cast of other characters, were interesting, engaging and a bit damaged! The town itself (Riverton, New Hampshire) was a character in and of itself and I would love to visit. I think those looking for a Binchy Readalike may enjoy Sue Halpern
Michelle Leonard
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, audio
Kit is a librarian for a small town library. She's trying to lose herself in her work and avoid any major drama or attention. Sunny is serving out community service, under Kit's supervision, for stealing a dictionary and Rusty becomes a regular as he consistently hogs a computer station on the hunt for a lost family fortune. The three of them are brought together as their stories unfold. The audiobook is read by three narrators to give each character a distinct voice and is very well-done. I enj ...more
Carolyn Fagan
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a librarian it would be hard to not enjoy this book! Halpern captures the atmosphere of a small town, rundown, financially strapped local library perfectly. Added to that is the perfect blending of Kit, Sunny and Rusty's stories. Leaves one feeling hopeful!
Kathleen Harville
If you are going to base your story in a library and with a librarian, you may want to do some research as to what the profession actually entails. Too many unrealistic details to make the book an enjoyable read.
Christa Schönmann Abbühl
This is a book I probably would not have picked up otherwise, so I am very thankful to my e-library ;-) I enjoy a good library story, of course, and a story about community, about people and friendship. The three main protagonists start out from a difficult place and end up somewhere better. I would have liked to know more about what’s to come after the ending of the book, but it DOES end on a very hopeful note. There even is a tiny bit of fairytale feeling to the story. Which I am all in for.
Dawn Michelle
Two stars for the last 1/4 of the book [NOT including the neat and tidy ending - EYEROLL].
I’m of two minds about this title: it started slowly and felt rather disjointed as two of the primary characters are introduced and some of their stories are revealed. It is much later in the book when the third character is brought in, and the points of view from memory and current thoughts flip between the three. This also wasn’t a ‘read in one siting’ title for me: it required time between sections and chapters to absorb the progress and find some of the wonderful bits that created simple con ...more
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Sue Halpern lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont where she writes books and articles, consorts with her husband, the writer and activist Bill McKibben, looks forward to visits from their wonderful daughter Sophie, plays with their remarkably enthusiastic dog, and introduces Middlebury College students to digital audio storytelling. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate ...more

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Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
40 likes · 15 comments
“It's stupid, really," I began again. "But it was this thing I read someplace, and it really got to me. It said that a dictionary is every book ever written and every book that will be written, just in a different order. And it seemed magical. You could own every book just by owning one book. I loved that. And I just had to have it,” 5 likes
“Do you stop reading a book because you don't want to watch the characters you like turn out to be unlikable, or the ones with which you identify denied the happy ending you believe they deserve?” 4 likes
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