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Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite
Hold Circulation: Trial and Redemption is the latest installment in Syntell Smith’s Call Numbers series. The book follows the staff of the 58th Street Branch Library as their lives are complicated by lost loves, estranged parents, cheating boyfriends, imminent births, and bereavement. It doesn’t take long for the complex tapestry of lives that form the core of this novel to take shape. Between the various protagonists, we quickly establish the central theme of choosing your destiny and pursuing the happiness that you deserve, no matter what the challenges. The ensemble is excellent for showcasing these themes, with diverse lives and issues that allow the same ideas to be explored from multiple angles. This enables the message at the heart of the story to pop off the pages.
It’s hard to single out a single character as a favorite amongst such a strong group, but I found myself drawn to Tonya as she fought to reconnect with a former lover who had broken her heart. Syntell Smith’s detailed and realistic characterization of Tonya, much like the rest of the characters, drew me into her world as she battled with herself to decide on the right thing to do for her happiness. Hold Circulation is an engaging work that celebrates the people who fade into the background of our lives and puts their stories front and center as the culmination of their trials and tribulations bring them closer to the happy endings they’re seeking. A rich and authentic assortment of literary heroes, each on journeys of happiness and self-fulfillment, comes together to make an appealing and dramatic work not to be missed.