The Giver of Stars: A Novel

by Jojo Moyes

Hardcover, 2019

Call number

FIC MOY

Publication

Pamela Dorman Books (2019), Edition: 1st Edition, 400 pages

Description

"Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they're committed to their job--bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives. Based on a true story rooted in America's past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women's friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member AdonisGuilfoyle
The second of three hardbacks I received for Christmas, and despite being by the usually reliable Jojo Moyes, unfortunately I found this novel far too pat and predictable. The cover is beautiful and the historical inspiration of the WPA's Horseback Librarian programme in 1930s Kentucky sounded intriguing, but the whole story is overlaid with saccharine romance and trite resolutions to plodding dramas. I didn't really feel anything for the characters because I knew how everything was going to work out for them, from fish out of water English bride Alice to tough broad Margery, who bizarrely melts into just another wife and mother. There's a token black character, saved and protected from too much unpleasantness (would the term 'coloured' really have been used in 1930s Kentucky?) by the white women, and various calamities like domestic violence, public prejudice and violent storms take place, but the whole attempt to capture the atmosphere of a small mining town felt forced. And don't get me started on the trial in the final part of the book, which is strangely reminiscent of a famous courtroom scene by Harper Lee. All hat and no cattle for me, I'm afraid.… (more)
LibraryThing member GlennBell
What a disappointment this book is. This was touted as a great book and is merely interesting but predictable. The author must think that men are largely villains or weak. Almost all the strong characters that are admirable are female. It is the women who overcome and are smart and talented. The men are despicable or merely supporting characters. The outcomes are painfully obvious especially regarding Alice’s marriage problem. I would not recommend this book unless you like books that make women rule and men drool.… (more)
LibraryThing member MM_Jones
The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes falls more firmly in the category of Romance than Historical Fiction. It is set in small town, coal mining Kentucky in the Depression Era, but the setting seems almost incidental to the story. If you enjoy a character driven book driven by all means, read this, but if you're more interested in the historical setting, this is a bit light.… (more)
LibraryThing member sleahey
Desperate to escape her stifling life in England, Alice marries a charming American and moves to his home in rural Kentucky, only to find that she has exchanged one problem for another. In a loveless marriage dominated by her father-in-law, Alice takes a job as a pack horse librarian, working for Eleanor Roosevelt's program to deliver books to isolated and impoverished families. Alice finds fulfillment in her work and close friendships with the spunky and courageous women in the program. She also finds prejudice, grief, violence, abuse, and danger, counterbalanced by true romance and bravery in the community. This is a novel about rural hardship and stamina during the Depression, and especially about strong relationships among women.… (more)
LibraryThing member Cherylk
I "heart" this book so much. There were so many great things happening about this book that I loved. I was sad when I finished the book. All of the women, Margery, Alice, Kathleen, Beth, Sophia, Izzy, and two men Sven and Fred were lovely.

My favorite is Margery. She had this bold attitude and really was the type of leader that the other women needed. She helped the other women to bring out their personalities and stand up for themselves; especially Alice.

The Giver of Stars is a real literary treat for readers! Ms. Moyes infuses such life into everything from the women to the story itself. I look forward to reading the next book from this author.
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LibraryThing member GirlWellRead
A special thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Alice Wright is swept off her feet by the handsome American, Bennet Van Cleve. Leaving her native England for a new life in Kentucky, she quickly realizes that life across the Atlantic is not what she had hoped, especially living with her overbearing father-in-law.

She is feeling completely stifled in her new life. To escape her mundane existence, she signs up for the travelling library—a job for the women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's initiative.

Margery is the leader of the group and soon becomes Alice's greatest ally. She is a no-nonsense, sassy and spirited woman that has never asked a man for anything. Rounding out the roster of what will be known as the "Horseback Librarians of Kentucky" are three other women.

Even though they are faced with all different types of danger, the women are committed to their job of bringing books to the people who have never had any. They are sharing the gift of learning to change lives.

A tale of how rewarding friendship between women are, of true love, and for what lies beyond.

The Giver of Stars is a story that celebrates reading and the group of women responsible for delivering library books to the people living in the mountains of Kentucky during the Great Depression. Moyes' latest offering is based on the real-life program that was created by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

What is most engaging about Jojo's writing is how she infuses her books with humour to counteract the heartbreak. Her writing is rich and moving while also being lighthearted and entertaining.

Of the two main characters, Margery is the fearless one, whereas Alice is someone who finds her purpose through her work and her female friendships. But both women are strong in their own different ways.

While I enjoyed the book for the most part, it was a little long, and at times overly dramatic—most of the story focuses on Van Cleve trying to destroy the project and the women involved. And I felt that Moyes was trying to lighten the drama with romance and it didn't work for me. What did however, were the parts that focused on the women themselves, and of the travelling library. This coupled with her beautiful descriptions of the landscape really made the book.

This novel is an exploration of the depths of relationships, about standing up for what is good and right, and above all, it is about love. A solid 3.5 stars.
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LibraryThing member shelleyraec
“So, what the Sam Hill is a travelling library, anyway?”

The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes is historical fiction inspired by the remarkable women who worked for the WPA Packhorse Library in rural Kentucky from the mid 1930’s to the mid 1940’s. For around $28 a month, these travelling librarians rode into the Appalachian Mountain through difficult terrain and all types of weather delivering books to homes and schools.

“It’s women doing the riding. Delivering the books.’

‘Women?’

‘By themselves?’ came a man’s voice.

‘Last time I looked, God gave ’em two arms and two legs, just like the men.”

Moyes sets her novel in the fictional small mining town of Baileyville in southern Appalachia, where the newly founded Packhorse Library attracts a group of diverse women into its employ. Though nominally headed by Mrs. Brady, it’s Margery O’Hare, a fiercely independent Mountain woman who takes charge of the library. She is joined by Alice Van Cleeve, the new English bride of the mine owner’s son, who is regretting the whirlwind courtship that brought her half way across the world, Beth, the daughter of a local farmer, who dreams of one day escaping Kentucky, Mrs. Brady’s reluctant daughter, Izzy, new widow Kathleen, and Sophia, a young black woman who becomes the library’s clerk.

“I believe sending young women out by themselves is a recipe for disaster. And I can see nothing but the foment of ungodly thoughts and bad behaviour from this ill-conceived idea”

Moyes portrays the community and its residents in a believable manner, highlighting the hard scrabble life of its poorest, and the arrogance of its richest. She explores common prejudices of the era, especially against women, and the environmental and social impact of unregulated mining, but most importantly the author shows how access to books and reading can change the lives of people for the better.

“The Baileyville WPA packhorse librarians were a team, yes, and a team stuck together.”

Of course, the focus of The Giver of Stars is really on the women of the Packhorse Library, the trials they face, and the friendship, support, and strength they offer one another. The characters are well developed, each strong, admirable women who earn the gratitude and trust of those they serve as they often go above and beyond their job description.

“She loved it here. She loved the mountains and the people and the never-ending sky. She loved feeling as if she was doing a job that meant something, testing herself each day, changing people’s lives word by word.”

A captivating story of friendship, love, identity, and justice, The Giver of Stars is a wonderful read.
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LibraryThing member shazjhb
I liked this book but it was not the best of her novels. ,I liked the information about libraries and the characters but it was missing something
LibraryThing member mzonderm
Alice doesn't fit in at home in England, for reasons that aren't entirely made clear, but also aren't terribly important. So when Bennett Van Cleve and his father come through her town on their European tour, she's more than ready to be swept off her feet and taken away from her boring life and hyper-critical parents. Unfortunately, she didn't look at a map to understand that Kentucky mining country is a far cry from cosmopolitan New York. Nor did she have enough to have any sense of her husband's character, and things quickly go downhill for her in America.

Fortunately, the WPA's packhorse library's need for librarians comes along to save her. The only things that anchors this book in the 20th century, the packhorse library really existed. "Librarians" took books into the hills and remote areas of Kentucky (and other places), and, at least in this book, brought the light of literature out to the boonies. Alice must contend with mistrust (not only is she not from the nearest small-town, she has an accent all the way from England), hazardous weather, and a bonehead husband. Fortunately, the promise of new friendships and happier times is on the horizon, if Alice can tough it out.

This may sound like a lightweight book, but it's actually not. Swirling around Alice are issues of poverty, illiteracy, prejudice, class injustice, and the unionization of coal miners. On a personal level, she must also deal with the nature of marriage and her obligations to her family. Moyes does an elegant job of illuminating all these issues while also writing realistic and relatable characters and situations. As a librarian, I was, of course, particularly taken with her discussions of the packhorse librarians and their goals of spreading literacy throughout the countryside. Her descriptions of how books changed the lives of the families in the hills serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of books and libraries to everyone.
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LibraryThing member bookwyrmm
I was unsure about listening to this because I find historical fiction about Appalachia heart-rending, but even in the darkest parts of this story, there was hope.
LibraryThing member haymaai
The latest novel by Jojo Moyes, ‘The Giver of Stars’, is a worthwhile attempt at historical fiction regarding the Pack horse Librarians, who with fortitude and courage, canvassed the wilderness to bring reading material to folks living in the isolated regions of Kentucky. The story begins when Alice Wright decides to marry the handsome American, Bennett Van Cleave, and departs for America in escape of her stifling life in Great Britain. But once she arrives in Kentucky, Alice soon realizes that her life with Bennett is not to be as she imagined, and she is eventually recruited as a Pack Horse Librarian, one of the initiatives of Eleanor Roosevelt herself. It is through her travels with this band of women that Alice meets Margery O’Hare, a no-nonsense, tough-minded woman who lives life by her own rules. Together Alice and the other Pack Horse Librarians develop deep ties of friendship and solidarity, as they seek to assist their friend Margery and to help her overcome formidable obstacles. Meanwhile, as Alice’s marriage to Bennett dwindles into nothingness, she finds unceasing support and caring from Fred Guisler, although she knows that nothing further can develop from this relationship. This is a story about true friendship and unremitting love, where Alice finds her place among these Appalachian people after confronting great adversity. I thought that Moyes developed her characters well in this story, although at times I felt like the novel could be shortened a bit. The story was very straight forward, and the ending seemed a bit too tidy for me, but otherwise, I enjoyed another wonderful Jojo Moyes’ book.… (more)
LibraryThing member WeeziesBooks
The Giver of Stars is a wonderful book. It is one of the most compelling historical fiction books that I have read in a very long time. I learned so much about the sacrifices of those who believed in serving others through selfless generosity, sacrifice and the support of literacy. The courage of the pack horse librarians who put the lives, safety and comfort on the line to provide access to books and magazines and personal contact with others before their own well being is a tribute to librarians and educators everywhere. A glimpse of the poverty, hardscrabble lives and isolation in this part of Kentucky was eye opening and humbling. Thank you Jojo Moyes for writing this wonderful book.… (more)
LibraryThing member thornton37814
Set during the years of the Works Progress Administration, this novel weaves the story of a group of pack horse librarians in the Kentucky Appalachian area. Margery spearheaded the efforts in Lee County. Alice, the English wife of the mine owner's son, Beth, Izzy, a slightly crippled young woman, and Sophia, a black woman trained to work in Louisville's libraries for blacks, assisted her. Later others began to help. Some thought the books and magazines might be too unwholesome, but they helped achieve a higher literacy rate in the area. Unhappy in her marriage and beaten by her father-in-law, Alice moved in with Margery. When a drunken man dies, apparently of an injury caused by a library book, the mine owner points suspicion to the very pregnant Margery whose family had a known feud with the man's clan. The book generates interest in the important New Deal era of American history by bringing interesting characters fulfilling an interesting role to life. Although the book included some information on the role of church in the area, particularly in regards to what materials certain persons would read, I felt the author underutilized that element by failing to show characters regularly attending church. The book ably depicts the courage and bravery of the women in navigating treacherous terrain and in humanitarian efforts during a flooding situation. I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway. Although no review is required, one is appreciated.… (more)
LibraryThing member BDartnall
Multi-layered, rich in 1930s -mountain mining town of Baileyville, Kentucky, atmosphere. Jojo Moyes' latest novel reveals a more thoughtful, less spritely tone (I only have Me Before You to go on); this historical treatment of the horseback libraries financed by the WPA and the determined spirit of small town & rural women (men helped too, but this novel is all about women power) is well edited, carefully paced, and achingly poignant as it examines the maturing of young Alice Van Cleve, an English woman who lept at a chance to escape her stifling family & small town life to marry the handsome Bennett Van Cleve and journey across the ocean w/him to -oops he said Louisville, but no they travel onward to small town Kentucky; unfortunately, Bennett's inability to contradict or stand up to his father (whom he insisted they live with, recently widowed, etc) & his apparent incapacity in the lovemaking realm is a sad awakening for Alice. Every one of Moyes' female characters come alive with their own strong characteristics, quirks, and stalwart ability to rise to life's challenges; male characters are less well developed but nevertheless each individualistic. Loved all the subplots of this story: the struggles to get the horseback library going, the long rides and fiercely proud, astoundingly poor/uneducated neighbors the women served with their weekly library routes, the working of the coal mine nearby & its rumblings of union building/impending violence, the beauty of the hills and "hollers" of the Kentucky landscape, & even the weaving in of literary references, and poetry Alice is led to by the library's first benefactor and supporter, Frederick Guisler. Too much to describe in here, but the author certainly juggles all the disparate plot lines expertly and I couldn't stop reading it by the second half - a wonderful novel and tribute to the WPA Packhorse Library… (more)
LibraryThing member hobbitprincess
This book came highly recommended, and I am glad I read it. I learned about the Packhorse Librarians and enjoyed reading more about the program on the internet. The setting is Eastern Kentucky, not very different from West Virginia, where my husband is from and where I've visited many, many times. Since I have that background, I could understand the characters well and appreciated the description of the terrain where the ladies had to travel. The only reason it didn't get 5 stars was that I was hoping it would be more about the program and the ladies who did it, but overall, the book turned into a romance with some adventure and disturbing discoveries.… (more)
LibraryThing member susan0316
The Giver of Stars begins in the small town of Baileyville, Kentucky when a woman speaks at a town meeting and explains the new WPA program to get books to the people in the rural areas. She needs several women to help her with this project As expected, many of the men in the town were totally opposed to women doing anything but staying home and they were shocked when several women volunteered, among them Alice VanCleve. Alice has recently moved from England to live with her new husband, one of the richest men in town and the people in town have been very unaccepting of her.. She is finding life with her husband and his father to be very boring and is eager to find some excitement. She became one of the women who rode over the rough mountain terrain to take books, magazines and even comic books to the isolated, improvised people who have no way to get to a library.

The main characters in this book are strong and diverse group of women. Alice, unhappy in her marriage and not accepted by the town; Margery, the daughter of a man, now deceased, who solved his problems with his fists. After what Margery had seen of marriage, she vowed never to get married and lives by herself. Isabelle, has legs crippled by polio and is afraid of horses but wants to help and Sophia, the black woman who keeps the library organized. These women make it their goal to provide literature to other people despite the constant backlash from the men in town who feel that the only thing people should be reading is the Bible and that by providing books, the library women are ruining the moral fabric of the town and spreading salacious material that will undermine the male dominance.

This was a well written, interesting book and I highly recommend it.
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LibraryThing member kglattstein
Attracted by the true story of women delivering books by horseback in the mountains of Kentucky, this book delivered with strong characters and interesting storyline developed around the culture of rural Kentucky.

The story begins with a character Margery who is involved in an altercation with a man while delivering her books. Then we are introduced Alice, an English woman, falling in love with an American marries and then finds herself not in the American cities she's heard about, but the hills of Kentucky. Through the disillusionment of her marriage and current situation Alice tries to find a purpose by volunteering for the newly formed WPA-sponsored horseback library. Guided by Margery, an example of a woman who lives outsides the cultural norms of how a woman should act, Alice sets out to find friendship and self-preservence through her work.

Throughout the story are the tales of mining life in Kentucky, impoverished isolated people - who are admired for what they have - not for what they don't, hardships of living in a rural area, and prejudice.

The relationship of Alice and her husband (and husband's father) provides a tension throughout the story. This is the only part of the storyline that I wish was better developed.

Halfway through the story we are reminded of the scene with Margery at the beginning of the book and its foreboding of the drama for the remainder of the book.

A thoroughly enjoyable peak into a place and time where it is easily demonstrated how much accessibility to books where reading and sharing them changes perspectives, brings comfort, joy, and knowledge - that improves people's lives.
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LibraryThing member DonnaMarieMerritt
This is the second book I've read about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky as part of FDR's New Deal during the Depression. While The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is also about the valiant efforts of these woman, facing weather hardships along with hard mountain paths and hardened hearts, the focus is different. A big part of The Book Woman is on a real medical condition that gave a blue-tinged look to the skin of certain mountain folk and the discrimination, superstitions, and fears that resulted. And in all honesty, while it was wonderfully written, I was not cheered by the ending.

The Giver of Stars, however, is more story. It's about friendships and personalities and romance. It's about betrayal and learning to trust again. It's about censorship to some extent, but also the revelations books can bring, both internally and externally.

There were two or three scenes that didn't quite ring true for me, but those rough spots didn't ruin the story.

Ultimately, Jojo Moyes has written a book about people growing and standing up for what is right, while accepting that some people will never change, but that doesn't mean they have power over you. I love stories that embrace that mindset.

As Margery tells Alice, "There is always a way out of a situation. Might be ugly. Might leave you feeling like the earth has gone and shifted under your feet. But you are never trapped, Alice. You hear me? There is always a way around."
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LibraryThing member nwieme
Really loved this. Great characters- interesting topic- The Packhorse Mobile Library of Kentucky (that was me for a time w/o the horse!). My only complaint was how tidily it ended, but I'm glad lol?!?!? Oh. And the fact that the very first date was written in italics and I thought it was 1987 instead of 1937 and I was VERY confused for a few minutes.… (more)
LibraryThing member IonaS
This novel is based on a true story, which makes it even more interesting. The story takes place in the 1930s.

An English girl, Alice, marries an apparently wonderful, handsome American called Bennett and moves to Kentucky. The marriage doesn’t turn out to be as idyllic as hoped, but Alice finds comfort in joining a travelling library, the USA Packhorse Library.

Together with other young women she travels on horseback to people in mountain areas to deliver books to new, avid readers. Some of the readers first have to be taught to read.

The work proves to be somewhat dangerous but is rewarding for Alice, and she becomes great friends with the other women.

There is Margery O’Hara, unconventional, stubborn but kind and a true friend. There is Izzy, daughter of Mrs Brady, the leading lady in the town. Izzy had polio as a child and needs to wear a brace on her leg. There is also Beth.

Alice’s father-in-law, Mr Van Cleve, is an unpleasant, domineering man who unfortunately lives with them. He is a mine-owner, and the miners have to put up with brutality and harsh conditions.

Sophia is a coloured woman who had spent eight years in the coloured library but though she is a trained librarian, due to her colour, she is not really permitted to work in the women’s library. She becomes a valuable help by organizing the books.

Margery is single and in no way interested in marriage but has a staunch admirer, a kind man called Sven.

Alice’s marriage goes to pot but she too finds an understanding potential partner.

Van Cleve makes life difficult for Alice, and particularly for Margery, who eventually ends in jail, though totally innocent of any crime.

The book is well-written, with lots of dialogue, and is an enjoyable read for the most part, though some of it I found uncomfortable to read, because in a way it is about a battle between good and evil and it seemed like the wrong side was winning.
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LibraryThing member Asheley
This is just as good as everyone says it is! The story follows a group of five women that work as Pack Horse Librarians in rural Kentucky during the Depression era. The women go out into town and into the mountains to deliver books and encourage reading, sort of like today's bookmobiles. Many of the locals cannot read, and it is through this program that they are able to teach themselves to read. They're also able to do fun things like find recipes, etc where they wouldn't have ordinarily done so. Basically, like libraries today, the program expanded the world around these people and made the majority of them happier in their own circumstances.

I loved learning about the lives of these women. They're all a little prickly and inside of themselves in the beginning. But as they work together and become closer, they all come out of their shells a little bit. They become bolder, more independent. They dream larger. The job gives them a bigger purpose, and they all seem the better for what they're able to do for their community.

Of course, there are some in the community that are opposed to the progress that comes along with a community that is reading more. There is definitely resistance to what they're doing, but the ladies push back. I love the way everything ended up for each one of the librarians. I wouldn't have minded more to the end of the story, though. By the time I got to the end, I was really getting into the plotlines for Marjery and Alice, especially. But overall, it was splendid and I would recommend it to everyone-especially people that really love to read.

Audiobook Notes: I bought this audiobook because Julia Whelan narrates it. I love listening to her read. She's read some of my favorite books, and this one was just a pleasure to listen to. Her voices for each character are wonderful and I enjoyed her accents. Definitely worth the use of a precious audiobook credit.

Title: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 13 hours, 52 minutes, Unabridged
Publisher: Penguin Audio
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LibraryThing member Olivermagnus
The Giver of Stars is a fictionalized story based on the real-life Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, who delivered books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling library program. As part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s incentive to improve literacy among the poor, these women are employed to deliver books to the poorest and most outlying families scattered among the mountains. The terrain is rough, the weather often hostile, and not all families welcome the intrusion. And yet Margery, Alice, Beth and Izzy make their daily journey to spread the love of books to everyone. For some families, it becomes the highlight of their week, their escape from drudgery, their hope of a better future – the magic of books.

The story follows a lot on Alice Wright, a British woman, who moves after marrying Kentucky native Bennett Van Cleve. As Alice becomes both dissatisfied with her marriage and small-town life, she joins the group of traveling librarians. In spite of their seemingly inoffensive mission, Alice and the other women begin to disturb the sensibilities of their small town who see their group as a threat. Chief among the secondary characters is Margery O’Hare, a kind yet tough individualist, a product of her miserable childhood.

This is a story of courage, hope, justice, betrayals, loss and love. But above all else it’s a story of friendship and a portrait of rural Kentucky before 1940. I really enjoyed reading about Alice, Izzy, Kathleen, Sophia, Beth, and Margery who showed how me the power of books and the escape they provide us.

I listened to the audio narrated by Julia Whelan and enjoyed it very much. I'm definitely going to read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, which is also about the Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky.


TBR 1234
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LibraryThing member DrApple
I loved this book. It tells the story of the WPA Packhorse Librarians in a small Kentucky town. The main character, Alice, has come to Kentucky from England with an image of a life involving theater, restaurants, and society. What she finds is a poor mining town. Her marriage is much less than she hoped it would be, and she is living in the home of her father-in-law, an opinionated bully. How Alice, and the other librarians, grow and find roles outside those considered "proper" for the time makes for a fascinating read. A murder trial of one librarian is the climax of the book, and it does not disappoint.… (more)
LibraryThing member TooBusyReading
This is the second book I've read about the WPA program started by the WPA to take books to the rural families of Appalachia. The subject is fascinating to me. Alice marries a wuss of a man who doesn't love his wife and won't stand up to his father, who is a nasty piece of work, and all about making money and breaking unions. Nevertheless, she volunteers to be part of the pack horse program, delivering books, magazines, any sort of reading material to families that welcome her and give whatever they can, and families that run her off with shotguns.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book, the strength of them, watching them come into themselves. They become her family, much more than family by blood or marriage. And I loved the historical aspect. There was a bit too much romance for my tastes, but it's not really a romance. This is well worth reading, as is the other book I read about this program, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.

I listened to the audio version of this book, and the narrator, Julia Whelan, was excellent. When she spoke as Alice trying to imitate a Kentucky accent, I literally laughed out loud, something I rarely do while reading.
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LibraryThing member Jthierer
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I've been burned in the past by the "hot" books burning up the book club circuit, so I went in with some trepidation. I will admit this wasn't the deepest book I've ever read and the ending does tie itself up a bit too neatly, but the characters were pleasant to spend a few hours with and the plot moved along nicely. Worth a read for sure.… (more)

ISBN

0399562486 / 9780399562488
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