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The Library Suicides by Fflur Dafydd


The Library Suicides by Fflur Dafydd
UK Publication: January 2023
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Hodder and Stoughton (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review – Weird

Synopsis from Goodreads: You can get in. But you can’t get out. Welcome to the library…

Twins Ana and Nan are lost after the death of their mother. Everyone knows who drove Elena, the renowned novelist, to suicide – her long-term literary critic, Eben. But the twins need proof if they’re going to get revenge.

Desperate to clear his name, Eben requests access to Elena’s diaries at the National Library where the twins work, and they see an opportunity. With careful planning, the twins lock down the labyrinthine building, trapping their colleagues, the public and most importantly Eben inside. But as a rogue security guard starts freeing hostages, the plan unravels. And what began as a single-minded act of revenge blooms into a complex unravelling of loyalties, motives and what it is that makes us who we are.

My Thoughts: Well this was one weird ride. Living in England I recognised the hints dropped throughout the book that the setting is a future post pandemic Wales.

In the novel the idea of protecting the population from the “great illness” has gone beyond masks and sanitiser, future Wales has declared paper and all paper products (books, notebooks etc) illegal as germs can be harboured on paper and passed around the population (the literary population anyway). This in itself seems nuts as the characters observe that the neighbouring country (future England) is still using paper with apparently no ill effects. The National Library is in the process of digitising all materials to make them safely available for the population but is that all they are doing.

The book thoroughly explores the theme of a paperless society by also envisioning how language itself would need to adapt to accommodate this lack of paper, how books have their own link to the past and future and how books are just more than words on pages.

While we explore this idea the central narrative revolves around the twins Ana & Nan and their quest for vengeance. A quest that gets derailed at various points and for various reasons, one of these being how responsible is one human being for the actions of another. It also explores what it means to be a family and what rule men have in a feminist society.

Overall an intriguing read.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who like to read on the wild side and who like books that are not predictable.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh.. I’m in. I’m going to have to read this.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 22, 2023
    • Book Worm #

      Hope you enjoy it

      Liked by 1 person

      January 30, 2023
      • Thanks! If it’s half as good as it sounds.. I’m sure I will. 😋


        January 31, 2023

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