The Night of Many Endings

Lake Union: Amazon. Oct. 2021. 300p. ISBN 9781542029254. pap. $14.95. F
A snowstorm strands five disparate people in the town library for a night of revelations. Nora Martinez, the young librarian, found the library to be an oasis as a young child and now works to ensure it is a welcoming space for everyone. Her parents died when she was young, and then she lost her older brother to addiction; her outward smile hides her inner pain. Marlene is an older woman who is unable to see the positive in life. Teenager Jasmine is new to town and is hiding more than just the stolen book in her backpack. Lewis is a homeless man who has returned to see his family one more time as he struggles with addiction. Finally, there is Vlado, the well-read library security guard who admires Nora from afar. In spending the cold night together, each will discover that one can never know the truth of someone else’s life just by appearances.
VERDICT Payne (Memories in the Drift) has crafted an emotional, character-driven novel about addiction, perceptions of others, and learning to let go. The Night of Many Endings is ultimately one of hope as the darkness brings forth the dawn of many beginnings.
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