Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: October 3rd 2019
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 435
Blurb from Goodreads:
Inspired by a remarkable true story, the unforgettable journey of five extraordinary women living in extraordinary and perilous times.
Alice Wright has traveled halfway across the world to escape her stifling life in England. Handsome American businessman Bennett Van Cleve represents a fresh start. But she soon realizes that swapping the twitching curtains of suburbia for newlywed life in the wild mountains of Kentucky isn’t the answer to her prayers. But maybe meeting Margery O’Hara is. The heart and backbone of the small community of Salt Lick, a woman who isn’t afraid of anything or anyone, Margery is on a mission.
Enlisting Alice, along with three other women, all from very different backgrounds, to join her, the band of unlikely sisters battle the elements and unforgiving terrain – as well as brave all manner of dangers and social disapproval – to ride hundreds of miles a week to deliver books to isolated families. Transforming the lives of so many is all the impetus they need to take such risks.
And for Alice, her new job and blossoming friendships become an unexpected lifeline, providing her with the courage she needs to make some tough decisions about her marriage. Then a body is found in the mountains, rocking the close-knit community and tearing the women apart as one of them becomes the prime suspect. Can they pull together to overcome their greatest challenge yet?
HERE’S MY REVIEW!
Jojo Moyes has done it again! I am so glad that I get to receive an early copy of The Giver of Stars because I am a huge fan of Moyes’ writing and storytelling. Skimming the synopsis of the story is enough to make me electrified to read it!
The Giver of Stars is different from her other contemporary fiction books like the Me Before You series. It is a historical fiction set in 1930’s in Baileyville, Kentucky and it is based on true events of The Horseback Librarians of Kentucky which was established by the Former First Lady of the United States of America, Eleanor Roosevelt. The librarians consisted of diverse strong women from various backgrounds who have the same interest, which were loving books and wanting to share the joy of reading to the public. The purpose of this program was to bring books and help educate people who lived in the hills in the Appalachian countryside of Kentucky.
What made me love about The Giver of Stars is for the fact Moyes focused on how important books could be in shaping and nurturing the world, in context of this moving story of the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. The story delved into the hardship that these librarians faced, when just a fraction of the town wanted to learn while the rest were just being disrespectful to knowledge by being ignorant. We are also told on how women were treated back then in the 30’s where men often see women as not worthy enough to learn because they were afraid if women were able to question or beat the status quo. Increasing literacy by learning and reading books inevitably breeds consequences, for example making people question what is true or false and rising debates. It is not a easy change, as it often increases resistance from the people who are scared of change. For instance, there was a point in the book where people were very suspicious of any reading material other than the Bible because they were afraid that the material would spread bad influence to people.
It also touches on various issues like racism, class and also poverty in this period of US history. It is so disappointing to see how people fail to realize that we need to treat everyone nicely regardless of what gender and skin color. The Giver of Stars also shows how people from the higher status exploits poor people by giving them low wages and destroy the environment just to make money.
I love all the strong women in The Giver of Stars especially Alice and Margery. While reading I learn a lot on their struggle through womanhood and how they overcome their conflicts. This is such a powerful story of women facing hardship and how they all collect the courage to right the wrongs, that you feel their pain like it’s yours and you feel the joy with them as well.
10/10 will recommend this powerful read.
Thank you Times Reads for providing me an ARC of The Giver of Stars in exchange of honest review.