October 20, 2021
Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Colorado, Drug Addiction, Public Library
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Welcome to my stop on the Let’s Talk Books Tour. Thanks #NetGalley #LetsTalkBooksPromo @LetsTalkBooksPromo @Getredprbooks @AmazonPublishing (Lake Union) for a complimentary eARC of #TheNightOfManyEndings by @MelissaPayne_writes upon my request. All opinions are my own.
Nora Martinez is a kind and compassionate librarian in the small Colorado community of Silver Ridge. Nora has a heart for the homeless population and after work she can be found delivering blankets, coats, and food to those sleeping on city benches. She welcomes the homeless into the library to use the restroom, treats them compassionately, believes in second chances, and tries to learn their names. Nora finds great comfort herself working in the library, and it becomes her home away from home. One reason she works tirelessly on behalf of the homeless is the concern she has for her brother who is living on the streets and is addicted to drugs. If she can’t help him, maybe she can help others. One night, a blizzard hits the small town and Nora and four others are stranded in the library overnight. As the storm rages outside, Nora and the patrons struggle to keep warm and begin to share their personal stories.
Characters: A cast of colorful and relatable characters propels this story forward. There is Nora, the “bleeding heart” librarian; Marlene, an older, bitter, and lonely widow; Jasmine, a quiet and troubled teen; Lewis, a homeless man who is a drug addict; and Vlado, a book-loving security guard who admires Nora. It may surprise you to find that by story’s end, you’ve fallen hard for each character! To me, that’s an especially satisfactory ending!
Where would you like to be stranded during a blizzard?
Setting: An old library in a small Colorado town and a blizzard raging outside is vividly described and imagined. I think the setting is essential to the story, and the blizzard serves to provide drama as it propels the plot forward and introduces elements of danger and survival.
Themes: I love a story with thoughtful themes! At first glance, this seems like a quaint book about books and a library; however, The Night of Many Endings includes an ambitious collection of substantial themes including homelessness, addiction, grief, loneliness, second chances, library love, siblings, complicated relationships, imperfect people, survival, understanding, compassion, assumptions, addiction’s effect on family members, loss of a spouse, loss of parents, guilt, suicidal thoughts, found family, and hope. Bottom line, this is a heavy story that ends satisfactorily with an abundance of hope. It often caused me to think of this quote by Andre Agassi in Open:
“This is the only perfection there is. The perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting value or meaning. This is why we’re here, to make each other feel safe.”
***May Contain Spoilers***
Content Considerations: grief, suicidal ideas (not fulfilled) by overdose and gun; loss of parents, loss of spouse, homelessness, addiction
Recommended: I’m recommending The Night of Many Endings for fans of stories set in libraries, for readers who appreciate substantial themes with a hope-filled ending, and for those who love engaging and heartfelt stories. The story contains many discussion possibilities for book clubs, and book club questions are available at the end of the story.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Meet the Author of The Night of Many Endings, Melissa Payne
As a middle child, Melissa Payne was born to tell stories. What started with blaming her brother for breaking the car window evolved to a graduate thesis that she desperately wishes she could rewrite to blogging on motherhood and marriage. Now she likes to create stories set in wild and beautiful places with characters in flawed and imperfect relationships, whether that’s between a mother and a daughter, friends or strangers. And imagining all of it with just a hint of the ethereal, a whisper of something beyond what we can see and a sense that it’s all for a purpose.
Is The Night of Many Endings on your TBR?
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