Rarely is a first novel as smart and engaging and learned and funny and moving as The Borrower. Rebecca Makkai is a writer to watch, as sneakily ambitious as she is unpretentious."
- Richard Russo Pulitzer Prize winning author of Empire Falls

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A librarian turns kidnapper. And kidnapped.

Lucy Hull, a young children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly anti-gay classes.

Lucy, a rebel at heart beneath her librarian’s exterior, stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on an improvised road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets and an inconvenient boyfriend thrown in their path. Along the way, Lucy struggles to make peace with her Russian immigrant father and his fugitive past, and is forced to use his shady connections to escape discovery.

Praise for The Borrower

The Borrower was highlighted recently in the regular “Six Favorite Books” column in the magazine The Week. Author Carol Rifka Brunt writes, “Take one well-meaning librarian, one possibly gay 10-year-old boy, and one road trip across the country, and you have the wonderful and witty story of The Borrower. The moral ambiguity of so many of the decisions made along the way was what kept me thinking about this book long after the last page.” See the whole article here.

The Borrower featured in The Week More Praise for The Borrower →
  • Available in the US from Penguin Paperback in May 29, 2012

  • Available internationally from:

    Heinemann Windmill/Random House (UK)

    Piemme (Italy)

    Editions Gallimard (France)

    Ullstein (Germany)

    A. W. Bruna Uitgevers (Netherlands)

    Edições ASA (Portugal)

    Maeva (Spain)

    Corpus/AST (Russia)

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© 2015 Rebecca Makkai