Steady Eddie and I are out and about enjoying our 10th anniversary today, and as a nod to our pre-children days, we brought along a few audiobooks to enjoy on our drive. We just finished listening to Richard Peck’s Here Lies the Librarian, and I wanted to post a quick review while it’s still fresh on my mind. I love audiobooks, but without the book to refer to, if I don’t write about them right away, it’s gone before I can say anything about it. Can anyone relate?
If you know Richard Peck, you know that his writing is simultaneously hilarious and poignant. Here Lies the Librarianis the story of Eleanor “Peewee” McGrath and her brother Jake, who are the proprietors of an automobile garage in rural Indiana just before World War I. Peewee has just graduated eighth grade and is eager to leave her school days behind and help Jake get their station up to snuff in anticipation of the paving of the road in front of their station which will certainly bring a business boom their way. However, the coming of a quartet of young society women into their town to modernize their library changes the lives of McGrath siblings. One of the cultured and lovely young ladies is none other than Grace Stutz, heiress to the Stutz Bearcat automobile fortune. While Grace and Jake have much in common due to their love for and knowledge of automobiles, Peewee finds a mentor of sorts in Irene Ridpath, a girl who believes that she (and hence, any other woman) can do what she sets her mind to. This is an exciting story of hard work, engineering, treachery, friendship, and even (a tiny bit of) romance as Jake and Peewee, with the help of the lovely librarians, work to prepare their home-built automobile for their county’s first dirt-track stock car race.
The Here Lies the Librarian audiobook is performed by Lara Everly, whose voice is perfect for the young narrator, Peewee.
Richard Peck is too good to miss. He has a handle on mid-American colloquial speech, and he never ceases to delight and tickle my funnybone with his epigrams. If you haven’t read any of his books, start with A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, and go from there.