"The Library at the End of the World" by Felicity Hayes-McCoy; Harper Perennial (340 pages, $15.99)
Set in a fictitious village somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, "The Library at the Edge of the World" is a sweet novel about weathering unwelcome change. Hanna Casey finds herself, in midlife, back home in Ireland and living with her mother again, after she discovers her wealthy London barrister husband has been having an affair. Hanna, who has loved the sophistication of big city life, is now working as a small-town librarian and sometimes-bookmobile driver. She's embarrassed by what she sees as her great comedown in life.
Seeking independence, she decides to renovate the tumbling-down cottage that her aunt left her, but just as she signs the loan papers to pay for the work, she finds out the county council has a plan to close her library and move all services to a bigger town. So now what? She's alone, she's cranky, she's frustrated, she's broke and she's quite possibly about to be thrown out of work.
Ah, but this is Ireland, where news travels fast and townsfolk always know more than you think they do about your business. And in the last 50 pages, this becomes something akin to a Maeve Binchy novel, with quirky characters popping up out of nowhere, townsfolk pulling together, and the formerly cranky Hanna blooming into the heroine of the town.