#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK
“A great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together.” —Reese Witherspoon
From the author of the forthcoming Someone Else’s Shoes, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond in Depression-era America
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Librarians used to deliver books to people who lived in rural Appalachia—on horseback. The Giver of Stars is a novel, but its inspiration is 100% true. It tells the story of Alice Wright, who trades in her stuffy life in 1930s England to marry the strapping, square-jawed American Bennett Van Cleve. Once settled in the Great Depression–wracked town of Baileyville, Kentucky, Alice finds new purpose when she joins a traveling troupe of women who saddle up to deliver books to people across the beautiful-but-treacherous Appalachian mountains. Best-selling author Jojo Moyes follows up her Me Before You trilogy with this inspiring story of female independence. Actress Julia Whelan moves seamlessly between crisp British accents and distinct Kentucky drawls. Her narration drew us deeper into this deeply emotional and adventurous story set against a little-known part of American history.
I really enjoyed listening to this book while I crocheted. The characters are truly inspiring.