Review: The Borrower

The Borrower
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved, loved, loved this book!

Lucy Hull is a librarian in the children’s section of a library in a town she calls Hannibal, Missouri (although she insists it’s not THE Hannibal, MO, just a convenient town name).

She is particularly close to a boy named Ian Drake, who is a voracious reader, even at the age of ten. Ian is precocious and funny and has read almost everything in the children’s section. One day, his mother shows up and tells Lucy that Ian is not to read any books that lack “the breath of God.”

Ian begins to sneak books home with Lucy’s help when his babysitter takes him to the library. Ian’s parents, very religious, begin sending Ian to a Christian program designed to “pray away the gay,” because they (and everyone else) believe Ian is homosexual.

Lucy is appalled and wants to help Ian. But Ian forces her hand one cold March night when she comes into the library and finds that he has camped out there with his knapsack after leaving a note and running away from home.

She wants to call his parents but he refuses and somehow, they end up on a road trip where Ian threatens to make it look like she kidnapped him, and she feels, weirdly, that he has kidnapped her. Along the way, they become closer while visiting Lucy’s family and traveling to out of the way places, not knowing if they were trying to get farther away or if they were working their way home.

I did NOT want this book to end. It was entertaining and heartbreaking and hilarious and I could not put it down. I loved it.



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