Saturday, August 22, 2020

Book Review - The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes

The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes
Penguin Audio - 2019

Based on the true story of the Packhorse Library initiative in which a group of women traveled by horseback through rural Kentucky to isolated residents.  The 1930's program was part of Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling library program.

The women is this story were so memorable. My favorite character was Alice, an Englishwoman who married Bennett an American imagining a better life. Unfortunately, she finds herself in an intolerable situation living under the same roof with her toxic father-in-law. Her marriage and living in small town KY was not at all what she imagined. There is also Margery with her can do attitude who heads up the initiative,  along with Izzy, Sophie, Beth and Kathleen. 

It's a beautiful story of the power of books and the friendship of women.  I loved how strong and tough as nails the women were despite the personal difficulties each had faced, especially as they stepped outside of traditional roles of women at that time.

This audio was beautifully narrated by Julia Whalen. I thought I might have difficulty following each character's story on audio but, that never was an issue.  Rich in history and well-developed characters, I highly recommend this book.

Rating - 5/5 stars
(borrowed from the library)

24 comments:

  1. Sounds like a pretty amazing story.

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  2. I remember reading something years ago about the Packhorse Library and it has stuck with me all that time. I love the whole idea. I've also read of something similar in other countries using mules to lug the books over mountains and into valleys from miles away...wish I could remember what country that was. Seems like I read about it in the early 2000s.

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    1. I only recall Biblioburro, a children's book, about a donkey in Columbia.

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  3. I've heard so many good things about this book, but still haven't read it. Now, I'm adding to my TBR list. I hope to get to it later this year.

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  4. I want to read this one! I am just finishing In the Country of Women by Susan Straight. Women facing the hardships of life together. A thing I love doing and reading about.

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  5. I bought this one a few weeks ago. Pleased it's so good and plan to get to it soon.

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  6. I generally enjoy this author but I am not sure about reading this one because of the controversy around it.

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    1. Yeah, I was aware of the controversy about this and the Troublesome Creek book, but, that type of thing doesn't generally affect my decision to read or not read a certain book. Same was true for American Dirt and I loved that one.

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  7. I want to read this one. The Packhorse librarians have long fascinated me, and I've seen some lovely old photos of the women librarians as they made their rounds. I can't understand why there could not be two or more books about this historic traveling library initiative.

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  8. I'm adding this to my audio wish list. My mother and sister loved it in print. Thanks for the recommendation, Diane.

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  9. I'll get to this eventually. I've loved several books by Moyes. I read the Troublesome Creek book earlier this summer and really liked it! I know a few people who enjoyed both.

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  10. I think this book was really good too, but now, having read the Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, I can totally see how this one is similar to it.

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  11. I haven't read a book by this author in a really long time. This one sounds like a good one.

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  12. I have this on my wishlist already - I'm intrigued by the Packhorse Library - so it is great to hear you enjoyed it so much; always a joy to read a 5 star book!

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  13. I didn't know that Julia Whelan was the reader for the audio, so now I'm convinced to give it a listen. Glad you enjoyed it so well!!

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  14. I read Bookwoman at Troublesome Creek in January and loved it. I think I've waited long enough between them to give this a try.

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  15. I'm in for getting this one. Library books by horseback sounds great to me! Can we do that now??

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  16. Julia Whalen did a fantastic job with this one!

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