The story is set in the summer of 2010 at the public library in Riverton, NH. Riverton, a once booming industrial town, is now long in decline. Kit, the reference librarian, has been in Riverton a few years after fleeing a mysterious marital problem. Sunny, a fifteen-year old who is homeschooled or “no-schooled” by her off-the-grid parents, has been sentenced to a summer of work at the library for stealing a dictionary from local store. Rusty, a Wall Street executive who has lost his job, home, and money as part of the economic downturn and Wall Street crash, moves to Riverton and comes to the library to search for information on an old bank passbook he inherited from his mother. Add into the mix, The Four, a quartet of retired men who come to the library most mornings to read the papers and visit.
Kit reluctantly mentors Sunny and grudingly lets her into her life. Down on his luck Rusty makes friends with The Four and digs into the archives to try to track down what happend to the long-gone bank (and its accounts), but loses all of his remaining posessions in a devastating motel fire. Once again, Kit who is reluctant to let anyone into her life, steps in.
The story alternates between narrators Kit and Sunny, with Kit's story coming both in the "current" timeline and with occassional dips into the past to describe her marriage. The rest of the tale runs from June 7 to August 23, as Sunny serves her court imposed sentence at the Library. Over the summer Kit, Sunny, and Rusty are all able to start their lives again.
You can find Summer Hours at the Robbers Library in the Browsing Collection at the Shapiro Library.