The Borrower Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Borrower

A small-town librarian leaves her life behind to save a boy. Lucy Hull, a children's librarian at a small library in a small town, lives alone and, in her late twenties, thinks that is what she wants. Soon, the appearance of Ian Drake, a young boy who visits the library in search of good books, upsets Lucy's carefully balanced life. Lucy helps Ian find a series of books that she enjoyed when she was Ian's age, but Ian's mother soon appears to put a stop to Lucy's efforts. Ian's mother, an extremely conservative Christian, does not want Ian reading the filth Lucy chose for Ian; instead, she wants her son reading books with a moral, Godly message. Lucy agrees, but quickly helps Ian smuggle home books that contradict his mother's wishes. During the time Lucy interacts with Ian, she begins to suspect that the quiet, sensitive boy may be gay and struggling with his own identity. One morning, Lucy comes to work and finds Ian tucked away in a corner of the children's section, where he had spent the night. Ian tells Lucy that he has no intention of returning home, but Lucy packs him into her car and heads toward his house. On the way, Lucy makes an impulsive decision and continues driving, leaving Ian's mother and their small town behind. Lucy and Ian travel across the country, with Lucy struggling to understand her own motives in essentially kidnapping a child she barely knows. In Vermont, a few hundred yards from Canada, freedom, and a new life, Lucy makes a final decision that will affect both her and Ian forever.
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Best part of story, including ending: I think the idea that we can save someone is an inherent trait in most people, even those who might not realize it. Lucy represents that idea taken to an extreme degree, but it makes the reader wonder what they would do in the same situation.

Best scene in story: I enjoyed the scene when Ian's mother confronts Lucy in the library for the first time, because we as readers know that, despite her verbal agreement with Ian's mother, Lucy has no intention of following her wishes.

Opinion about the main character: Lucy does not seem like a very impulsive person, with her conscious decision to become a small-town librarian after graduating with honors from college, but her decision to essentially abduct Ian shows that even the most seemingly at-ease individuals often have conflicting thoughts and emotions.

The review of this Book prepared by Adam Koeth a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Borrower

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   grade school Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   fighting with bitchy momma Love problems?    -   gay guy urges

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Rebecca Makkai Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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