Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Chicago World’s Fair has ended and Reading Room librarian, Lydia Bancroft, is drawn to an attractive bibliophile who regularly visits yet doesn't speak with her. He often leaves an unfinished book behind on a table and Lydia saves it for his next visit. Meanwhile, Sebastian Marks, a wealthy club owner from an impoverished and low background, has become interested in Lydia--not enough to chat with her, though, until she's hurt at the hotel where he lives.
Everyone seems to know Sebastian and either fear or respect him. Lydia has retreated into a world dominated by her stories and the library where she works. After her father's death, she and her mother have been left in reduced circumstances. When Sebastian saves Lydia from her fiance, their relationship is broken. Ms. Gray indicates at the beginning of the audiobook that this is a story about friendship. Lydia and Sebastian certainly need to learn how to be friends, including with each other.
When Lydia makes some poor decisions and she is later entangled in a murder investigation, the plot truly thickens! Can Sebastian overcome his childhood traumas? Can Lydia begin to engage in real life, including real life relationships and all that entails? Their budding friendship and fledgling romance is beautiful and the Christian spiritual arc for Sebastian was woven well into the story.
A secondary romance between two of Sebastian's employee's is simply stunning and very moving!!!
Highly recommend. I loved listening to this book! This is on my Best Audiobooks of 2015 list!! Upcoming soon!