The Borrower (Penguin, $15), by Rebecca Makkai, is a charming tale of the cockamamie road trip of a librarian and her favorite ten-year-old patron. Librarian Lucy Hull is both kidnapper and kidnapped when Ian, precocious and stifled by his family, blackmails Lucy into driving him across the country. This humorous novel has children’s story elements and a cast of characters that includes Russian mobsters, ferrets, and the ghosts of the Green Mountain Boys. Makkai’s debut novel is smartly written and wise as Lucy considers the many moral and legal conundrums she has gotten herself into. In this, the season of road trips, The Borrower is a novel not to be missed by anyone who has ever wished to run away with books—or maybe with their favorite librarian or bookseller.
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