The giver of stars

Jojo Moyes, 1969-

Book - 2019

"Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium. 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 Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they're committed to their job--bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives. Based on a true story rooted in America's past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is 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"--

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Subjects
Genres
Historical fiction
Love stories
Romance fiction
Domestic fiction
Novels
Published
[New York] : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC [2019]
Language
English
Item Description
"A Pamela Dorman Book"
Publisher location found on publisher website.
Physical Description
390 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780399562488
0399562486
Main Author
Jojo Moyes, 1969- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* When Alice marries the charming, athletic Bennett Van Cleve, she imagines bustling city life in America, so unlike her staid English existence. But when she gets to Baileyville, Kentucky, she finds her peers are suspicious and gossipy, her house is a shrine to Bennett's late mother, and her father-in-law sleeps in the room next door. Desperate and lonely, she surprises herself by volunteering to help with the new Baileyville Packhorse Library, run by the indomitable Margery O'Hare, who has an unsavory reputation as a moonshiner's daughter, though no one dares say it to her face. Of course, spreading education and information, especially to the womenfolk, threatens the man who runs the coal mine—Alice's father-in-law. Readers familiar with Moyes' very British narrative voice will be thrilled that she translates seamlessly into Appalachian, and she weaves a tough sort of protofeminism in with labor unrest and romance in this story that doesn't stereotype but lifts up the work of the women who run the library and the lives they impact. There are tears and laughter in this homage to the power of reading and the strength of community.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moyes is a must-read for women's fiction fans, and her newest historical tale is already in development with Universal Pictures. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The top-selling Moyes goes historical in a Depression-set story featuring Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. Alice Wright leaves stuffy England to marry charming American Bennett Van Cleve but finds her life not a whole lot happier. Getting involved with the Horseback Librarians, a program promoted by Eleanor Roosevelt, brings her purpose and friendship. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Moyes's 16th book (after Still Me) takes place in Depression-era Kentucky, where bride Alice Wright is trying to fit in. This is not how she imagined her glamorous American life when she left her native England. Her new husband, Bennett Van Cleve, is ruled by his overbearing father, and even the family housekeeper views her with suspicion. When a local woman asks for volunteers for the WPA Packhorse Library, Alice steps forward, despite the objections of her father-in-law and husband. From Marge, the fiercely independent and unconventional woman who runs the library, to Sophia, who left the Louisville "colored" library to care for her brother, the story of these packhorse librarians unfolds as they bring books to the people living in poverty in the Appalachian hills and fight the prejudice against women and African Americans that may result in the library being closed. A murder and unrest among the coal miners add to a tale of a fascinating and difficult time. VERDICT Rich in history, with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place, this book will fit well in any library's fiction collection. For fans of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants or Catherine Marshall's Christy. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/19; "Fall Fireworks," LJ 8/19.]—Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

An adventure story grounded in female competence and mutual support, and an obvious affection for the popular literature of the early 20th century, give this Depression-era novel plenty of appeal. Alice Wright escapes her stifling English family by marrying an American, but this choice leads to further misery in the rural Kentucky household of her unaffectionate husband and his domineering father, the owner of the local coal mine. She finds respite in riding with the women of the new WPA-sponsored horseback library. She's sustained by her friendships with the other women, especially the brash, self-sufficient Margery O'Hare, and the appreciation of the isolated families she serves. But powerful men in Baileyville oppose the library, as it employs a black woman, influences women and children's minds with fiction, encourages previously illiterate families to defend their rights against encroaching mining companies, and teaches women about intimacy through a secret copy of Married Love. Moyes (Still Me) stereotypes her antagonists a bit, but provides tremendous warmth among the librarians and centers their perspectives thoroughly. There's plenty of drama, but the reader's lasting impression is one of love. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Volunteering for Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library in small-town Kentucky, an English bride joins a group of independent women whose commitment to their job transforms the community and their relationships. By the best-selling author of Me Before You. Read by Julia Whelan. Simultaneous.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium 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 Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they're committed to their job--bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives. Based on a true story rooted in America's past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER |  A REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK“A great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together.” —Reese WitherspoonFrom the author of The Last Letter from Your Lover, now a major motion picture on Netflix, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond in Depression-era AmericaAlice 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.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER |  A REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK“A great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together.” —Reese WitherspoonFrom the author of The Last Letter from Your Lover, soon to be a major motion picture on Netflix, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond in Depression-era AmericaAlice 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.