Summer Hours in the Robbers Library, Sue Halpern, 2018
Halpern, the author of seven books of fiction and non-fiction is a resident of Middlebury, VT and has written a fine novel, funny, sad and touching in the way that life is. What could have been a huge pile of cliched characters—-the retired barber and physician spouting country wisdom, the broken hearted and depressed librarian, the ‘lost-my-job in the Great Recession Wall Street short seller with a heart of gold, the ‘no-schooled’ daughter of hippies—become three-dimensional people who you truly care about in Halpern’s hands. The main character is perhaps the library, the Andrew Carnegie legacy from the early 20th C that remains Riverton, NH’s only thriving institution now that the mills have disappeared. Kit Jarvis, aka Catherine Sweeney, Rusty, aka Cyrus Ingram Allen, Sunny, aka Solstice spend the summer months in the library and their stories and finally their lives become intertwined. The suspense of Kit’s troubles and Sunny’s origins are resolved neatly by the book’s end and this reader was satisfied with the conclusions.