Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: October 8, 2019
For fans of: Historical Fiction, Romance, the 1930’s Depression Era, traveling libraries, women’s rights.
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.
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.
Life is complicated, which is why finding a little joy where you can is important”
I really enjoyed “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes, so when I saw she published this I had to buy it. When I realized it was Historical Fiction I wasn’t expecting to love it so much. I haven’t read that genre since I was forced to do so back in High School. Surprisingly, I found the narrative to be soothing and captivating. I enjoyed being transported to the middle of the Depression Era in Kentucky, 1930’s. Moyes’ writing was very descriptive and the scene setting was accurate for the time period.
Moyes has a way of making us empathize with her characters. I found myself feeling frustrated and powerless along with Alice and Margery, the main characters, due to the unequal treatment of women and the segregation of people of color during that time period. I fell in love with both our main characters, and I liked the contrast between their personalities. Both Alice and Margery had very impressive character arcs, and they grew so much throughout the story.
As a bookworm, I loved the whole idea of the traveling libraries, and I appreciated the courage it took for these women to undertake such a mission in such a dangerous time for them. They hiked through mountains, braving the heat, and eventually the snow, in order to deliver some literary joy to those who needed it. Some of them would stay and read to those who could not, and they would offer some much needed advice and support. This book made me fall in love with Historical Fiction, and I’m open to any suggestions you guys might have. Please let me know your favorites in the comments! I highly recommend this one to all Romance/ Historical Fiction fans, and for fans of Jojo Moyes’ writing.