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Sourcebooks Casablanca 
ISBN: 978-1-7282-5621-4
March 28, 2023
Contemporary Fiction

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – Present Day

Librarian Sloane Parker enjoys her job at the community library, even if her boss is rigid and bossy. One day, an elderly man named Arthur McLachlan comes into the library just as Sloane is putting books back in their right spot on the shelves. She’s trying to be friendly while he’s rude and obnoxious toward her. Even with the animosity between them, there is a sense that it’s all a game as he comes in every day to do battle with her. But when he doesn’t show up for several days, Sloane goes against her boss’s wishes and heads to Arthur’s house, where she discovers that he is ill and currently without a nurse to care for him. 

Arthur doesn’t want Sloane there, though he needs someone. He apparently has no close family members except for a nosy neighbor, Maisey, so no one can take care of him. While he tells both women to go away, they snoop around and discover he has a vast book collection. Clearly he reads, so a book club of sorts is formed. Sloane got fired from her job after her supervisor found out she’d visited Arthur after being told not to. Now she can be with Arthur all day, while Maisey has a work-at-home job. Sloane soon brings in her former coworker, Mateo, to join them. They are then joined by Arthur’s grandson, Greg, who has had a tumultuous relationship with his grandfather. As the five people get to know each other, they form a bond. Will they learn more about Arthur’s past and why he seems bitter toward life?

THE LONELY HEARTS BOOK CLUB brings together a motley crew and they each realize a change in themselves by the end of this tale. Sloane is engaged to a man who basically controls her life. Her choices aren’t considered, and she has pretty much gone along with him. She still misses the sister she lost when she was young. Her life isn’t making her happy until she started the book club because these people became her friends. For most of the book, Arthur acts like he doesn’t want them there, but he needs the help. How does having people that care for him change him?

Maisey is divorced and has a teenage daughter who only visits her every two weeks on weekends. Maisey wishes it was more, but her daughter feels like her mom is overbearing and her daughter wants to do what she wishes. After her daughter announces that her father has gotten a job in Los Angeles and she will be moving with them, Maisey is devastated. However, the unspoken therapy the book club provides helps her see what she was doing wrong with her daughter—and her life. 

Mateo likes his job at the library but doesn’t enjoy it. He is who Sloane turns to when she needs medical attention for Arthur. How will Mateo’s life change? Finally, there is Greg. He cares for his grandfather but the old man basically caused his daughter, Greg’s mother, to walk away after her mother died. Can the two men repair their relationship?

As readers can see while reading THE LONELY HEARTS BOOK CLUB, there is plenty of emotion and feelings to be found. As each character goes through their journey, they change as they realize the mistakes they have made in their lives. For Sloane, will that include breaking off her engagement? Her fiancé is ready to start a new life in Boston and expects her to go with him. How will she decide? A refreshing and intriguing read don’t miss THE LONELY HEARTS BOOK CLUB.

Patti Fischer

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