There has been a lot of talk regarding the similarities between Jojo Moyes "The Giver of Stars" and Kim Michele Richardson's "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek" so I decided that I would like to read both of them to see for myself!
I chose Book Woman first - completely due to the fact that it was $6 cheaper than the Moyes book! On Amazon there have been more reviews for Giver; however, Book Woman's reviews are slightly higher! (4.7 vs 4.6)
I knew I wanted to read these books as soon as I heard they were about the pack horse librarians. Anyone who loves books enough to do this is my kind of person!
Here is what Amazon has to say:
The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.
Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.
Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.
I really enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it quite as much as I wanted to. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely recommend it. I was just expecting so much after all of the talk that I was thinking it would easily be a five star read. I was very excited to learn the history of the pack horse project as well as about the Blues in Kentucky.
The absolute best part of the book for me was the love and respect that the main character had for books. How each one was important and worthy to be taken care of and placed in the right hands. They had so few - so each one was treated like a precious gift. The mountain folks looked forward to getting books each week like it was Christmas morning! Some learned to read this way, others learned history, or how to make/do things. What was going on outside of their little piece of the world. It gave them an escape.
Another area which touched my heart was the "scrapbooks". The librarians would take a recipe from one of the mountain wives, a cleaning idea from another, a magazine article about raising kids, etc and put them together into scrapbooks to move through the Appalachians. Not only was this a way for people who lived far from others to learn things they would otherwise be unable to learn, it was a way of bringing them together as a community. Such a beautiful idea!
Overall, I give this book 4.25 stars ****1/4
Read this is you enjoy historical fiction, clean romance