Rating: 5 / 5
THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes was an easy pick for me when it came time to grab my Book of the Month selections. I have really enjoyed her writing in the past and I find her very easy to read. I was glad to pick this one up during this month as a mood read!
THE GIVER OF STARS is set in Kentucky around the period of time of the Depression. Alice moves to the United States from England, the young bride of Bennett Van Cleve. She imagines a big city life and new adventures, but instead she gets small town living in Kentucky where she just doesn’t fit in. On a whim she volunteers for the new town library project whereby women will be taking library books out to families too far out to come to town.
Alice’s father-in-law is against her new venture, but Alice soon finds a close knit friendship with the other women who signed up for the project. Together they battle terrible weather, accidents and other dangers to bring education and entertainment to those with little opportunities for either. The book follows Alice as well as the other four Packhorse Librarians as they establish the traveling library and live their lives making ends meet.
I really loved THE GIVER OF STARS! As has been my experience in past books by Jojo Moyes, I found the writing to flow very well and the characters to be very engaging. At the core of the story are five women who have many obstacles to overcome, not the least of which is that they are women in a very male dominated culture. The book shows some of the best and the worst of people in such a setting.
This book really honors the power of the library (something I am for sure grateful for on a regular basis). The librarians are able to deliver childrens’ primers to help children read even if they aren’t able to attend school, comic books, classics and housekeeping magazines. I absolutely loved seeing the women at this books’ center build meaningful friendships, supporting each other through their hardships and celebrating their successes.
I really loved this book and would recommend that you pick up THE GIVER OF STARS! It was a great blend of historical fiction in a time period I do not know well and a human drama with a compelling story line!