♦This post contains affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra, and I make a small commission.♦
♦Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.♦
Book Review of The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin
If I weren’t a teacher, I think I’d be a librarian. I’d love to share my love for and knowledge of books with everyone! I try and do it with this blog, but it’d be so fun to talk to people face to face and see the joy on their faces when they find a new book to read. Being a spy would be cool, but I would not be good at that job—I’m a terrible liar! What do these two jobs have in common? A book, of course! I found The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin in a bin of books at the grocery store, and I’m so glad I picked it up!
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London comes a moving new novel inspired by the true history of America’s library spies of World War II.
Ava thought her job as a librarian at the Library of Congress would mean a quiet, routine existence. But an unexpected offer from the US military has brought her to Lisbon with a new mission: posing as a librarian while working undercover as a spy gathering intelligence.
Meanwhile, in occupied France, Elaine has begun an apprenticeship at a printing press run by members of the Resistance. It’s a job usually reserved for men, but in the war, those rules have been forgotten. Yet she knows that the Nazis are searching for the press and its printer in order to silence them.
As the battle in Europe rages, Ava and Elaine find themselves connecting through coded messages and discovering hope in the face of war.
My Book Review:
What an inspiring story! The Librarian Spy is told from two people’s points of view. Ava worked as a librarian at the Library of Congress and was asked by the military to work in Lisbon, Portugal as a spy for the Allies. Elaine lives in occupied France and helps run an illegal printing press for the Resistance. Although these two women come from very different places and positions, their stories become intertwined as they both want the same thing—to help people get out of the war zone and into safety and for the war to end.
I loved the writing in this book! Ms. Martin’s writing style flows easily, transitions between characters well, and just sucks you in. Her descriptions of the places, the experiences, and jobs of these women make you feel as if you are there with them. The emotions of the characters in The Librarian Spy feel so real. As a reader, I felt the pain, heartache, anxiety, desperation, and care each of the characters portrayed in the book.
Speaking of the characters—wow! The characters make the book. The story line is great, and as I said previously, I loved the writing, but it’s the characters that truly make this story. I always want to think that I would be courageous in the face of danger; these characters show their bravery in their everyday actions.
Both Ava and Elaine come across as real, authentic, and unique women. They each have their shortcomings and flaws, but they also have these amazingly brave and caring traits that make them such great characters. The way they sacrifice their own comfort and security for others surely makes them heroine. I want to be like Ava and Elaine when I grow up!
I love the way these two women connect. It’s a fun twist befitting the best spy movies. The cause of the connection makes it even better. Ava and Elaine aren’t the only great characters, either. The people that surround them and support them may be their friends, but they become your friends and supporters as well. We should all be so lucky as to have the friends and supporters that Ava and Elaine have.
I read The Librarian Spy on my trip to Belize, and I loved it! It’s one of those stories that transports you to another time and place, and you’re sad to see it end. Not only that, but when you finish it really makes you think. Would I do that? Would I risk my comfort, my security, my life for someone else and for a cause greater than myself? I hope so! I like to tell myself I would, but I’ve never had to prove it in a crisis.
- Profanity: None
- Intimacy: None (Kissing)
- Violence: High (There is a suicide, characters are brutally tortured, and several characters are killed.)
Age Recommendation: 16+
My Rating: 4/5