Sunday, March 29, 2020

Review: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Title: The Giver of Stars
Author: Jojo Moyes
Year Published: 2019


Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 400
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map): US (KT)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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 Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. 

What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic--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. 


Review: I thought this book seemed like a good light read for this uncertain time that we're living in. Well, it is a good read, but there are definitely moments when it is tense.

Alice and the other Packhorse Librarians are a wonderful bunch! I love their friendship, their fearlessness, their determination, their ingenuity, and more. Women in the late 1930s had to be tough, but in the rural areas of Kentucky, even more so. The people that are pulled into their circle (both the good and the bad) make for a fantastic cast of characters. I like that they each have depth, they grow, and that, in the end, we see where they each end up.

The story itself is also very interesting; I had heard of these librarians before (the Kentucky horseback librarians were a real thing funded by the WPA) and to read about them in a novel form was great.

Challenges for which this counts: 
For the Pop Sugar challenge, this book is about a book club.

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