I recommend this book. Five stars!
The Giver of Stars, a historical fiction set in in Depression-era America, chronicles the lives of female librarians in a small town in Kentucky’s Appalachian mountains. The real-life WPA Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky program, part of the New Deal and a project spotlighted by Eleanor Roosevelt as beneficial to women and children, lasted from 1935-1943, delivering books via horseback to rural inhabitants of Kentucky to promote literacy to the country’s poorest and often forgotten. The women face the adversity of a town hellbent on determining what women can and can’t do, both in their public and private lives. Themes of friendship, the complications of marriage and family, corporate greed, racism, and overall inequality fill the pages of this novel.
The book is around 390 pages and the first 100 were slow. Not necessarily boring, just slow. Hang in there, because it gets good! Once it got going, I had to will myself into putting it down. If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, you will definitely enjoy this one.
I love historical fictions and had NO IDEA the Pack Horse library was even a thing. It’s hard to imagine what these real-life heroines went through to deliver books in snow and rough terrain with little pay.
This is the first time I’ve ever read a Jojo Moyes’ book. Several years ago, one of my girlfriends urged me to read “Me Before You” (which subsequently became a movie), but at the time, I wasn’t making reading a priority. (Shame!)
The Giver of Stars was chosen as Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club selection in November of 2019. (I know I review many of Reese’s Book Club selections, but it’s purely coincidental. Her choices tend to be “hit or miss” and I don’t base my selections from them.)
Have you read this? What did you think?