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This was my first time reading Jojo and I fully enjoyed her capability as a Storyteller. I was unfamiliar with the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky during the 1930's and this novel gave me an opportunity to Learn something new, as well as be Inspired by the unflinching resolve, tenacity, and love of books the original Packhorse Librarians possessed. The portrayal of the varied and well-developed characters in this story allowed me to be fully engrossed in this memorable tale. And although the plot wasn't overly complex, the Author still managed to keep me beguiled till the last page by illustrating the camaraderie and bonhomie that books and libraries contribute to people and communities no matter how disparate they may be.
Four firefly stars for this new novel giving us the opportunity to learn more about the WPA Packhorse Library women and their impact on the hollers of Kentucky. As with "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek," you are immersed into that time period and see how hard those librarians worked to serve their customers. It is impossible to read this title without comparing it to Book Woman. Although Jojo Moyes is a higher profile author than Kim Michele Richardson, I would recommend reading Book Woman if you only want to read one book about the subject. Richardson develops the details of the route more clearly since she is telling her story from one POV. Both books include mining as a subplot and both address prejudice. All in all, they are both excellent additions to the historical fiction genre and tell a story that needs to be told.
I really liked this book. The women all had their own stories, yet shared the library as their main focus. It was a believable portrayal of Kentucky at this Time in our history. Highly recommend this wonderful read.
I did not want this book to end. Jojo Moyes enticed me to learn more about the WPA (Works Progress Administration), Packhorse Library. I can't imagine riding in the Appalachian Mountains by myself delivering books to the outskirts of town. I listened to the audio book and thoroughly enjoyed the different accents narrated by Julia Whelan. if you would like more information, check out this link. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/horse-riding-librarians-were-great-depression-bookmobiles-180963786/
A good read, but I would recommend The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek over this one for the historical detail (a whole section at the back as opposed to two sentences) and transforming power of books; this is much more focused on the romantic and emotional lives of the librarians.
I wanted so much to love this and in the end, I just liked it. It held my interest (rural America! Libraries! Drama! Friendship!) but it’s one book that I wouldn’t reread.
I LOVED this book and did not want it to end. Sometimes historical books can be tricky, but this had me hooked from the 1st chapter. Easy to read, topical with issues still prevalent nearly 100 years later for women, it was one of the most satisfying books i have read in ages.
A sequel would be welcome!
Loved it! Very different type story for the author who generally has a lot of sarcastic humor in her characters. This was far more serious but very well written and kept me up late every night as I couldn't put it down.
i was sceptical, moyes was going to segue from a clinic in switzerland (the last book i read/enjoyed) to a setting in rural kentucky during the great depression? my fears were unfounded, and thoughts of paris soon left my head. this story reminded me of 'the harvey girls,' 'true grit,' and etc. with a theme of 'intrepid women learn to overcome hardships and learn the meaning of true friendship.' coincidentally, it is related to 'the book woman of troublesome creek,' which is also about the WPA pack horse librarians, what are the odds!? that being said, i enjoyed this book though i don't typically read historical novels.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is historical fiction at its very best! Set in 1939 Southern Kentucky, the lives of five strong female characters come together to form and operate the Packhorse Library, where they deliver by horseback, books, magazines and newspapers to those living in remote, rural areas.
One of the main characters, Alice, an Englishwoman, marries an American and is brought to Kentucky where she hopes to start a new, dazzling life with her husband. That is not to be the case. Alice finds living with her husband and her father-in-law to be stifling and oppressive. Alice gets involved in starting and operating the Packhorse Library with four other women and her life becomes fulfilled and has purpose. A murder is thrown into the mix, and the mystery aspect of the story keeps the reader guessing as to how the lives of the women will be affected.
Jojo Moyes’s past works of contemporary fiction (Me Before You, After You, Still Me) have been enjoyable reads for me. But The Giver of Stars is on another level and is my favorite novel of hers to date. The writing and development of the characters is phenomenal. The relationships that Moyes develops for each of her characters are deep and multi-faceted. This narrative will stay with you long after you have read the last page. If you are a lover of historical fiction, The Giver of Stars is for you. Additionally, it is a great novel for book groups as there is much content to discuss with many interesting characters and relationships. Get on the library Hold List now, as I predict this novel becoming the Where the Crawdad’s Sing of 2020!
This is a wonderful book about an interesting time in our history. The characters are compelling, and the story is very thought-provoking.
Just finished reading this novel and absolutely loved it from start to finish. Loved the different story lines, heartache, and adventure. Just saw this will be a motion picture and can’t wait!! Praise to JoJo Moyes as this was a bit different then her other novels. I enjoyed it and hope you do too. This would be great for a book club.
A New & Noteworthy pick. Five strong women from varying backgrounds brave the isolated Kentucky countryside on horseback during the Depression to deliver books to neighbors who have none. A story of resilience and friendship with a sweeping sense of place. Jojo Moyes nails it.
Change of scene for Moyes - Horseback Librarians of Kentucky!