Book Reviews

Book Review: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Mojes

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Giver of Stars – Blurb

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. 

“There is always a way out of a situation. Might be ugly. Might leave you feeling like the earth had gone and shifted under your feet. But there is always a way around.”

Jojo Moyes

Pack Horse Library

In my case, this was the first time I ever came across with this initiative. The Pack Horse Library was introduced by the Work Progress Administration (WPA) and consisted of delivering books to remote regions within the Appalachian Mountains.

Horse-Riding Librarians Were the Great Depression's Bookmobiles ...

What I loved about this particular movement, was how much women were involved with this. Regardless of their limitations during this time period, they hopped on their horses for hours in order to deliver books to those uneducated communities so they could spread the power of literature and education. They would even gift some of those people hours of reading to those who couldn’t.

Pack Horse Library Project - Wikipedia

Review

The Giver of Stars surrounds women from different backgrounds that volunteer to do this job in a very close minded town in Kentucky. They faced so many obstacles that many did not believe this library would survive! I personally loved how the book did not concentrate entirely on their love lives and more on their friendship. Especially how said friendship made them better people.

I believe this book is pretty accurate on the time period description and the customs of these people. You can see this in Alice’s relationship with her new family. Poor thing did not know what she was getting herself into. At first you kind of want to kill her for being so stupid, however she blossoms and evolve into an independent strong woman, you just can’t help feeling proud of her.

Margery was a straight up badass woman. She knew what she wanted out of life and she let no one get in her way of achieving her goals or change her train of thought. She was really stubborn though. Sven was a saint if you think about it. This guy portrayed the true power of self less love with this woman time and time again. Definitely one of my favorite characters!

We also have Izzy, a privileged polio survivor. Beth, who was helping her father raise her younger siblings. Sofia marks an important role in this story, since she was a colored woman we can experience the discrimination towards her and the fear she constantly had to live with. Not much different than the present, if you look at it from another perspective.

This book is soon to be adapted into a movie! I really do hope they can pick up all these issues, that are still very present in our society. Please check out Jojo Moyes’ ‘The Giver of Stars’ Brings All of the Historical Drama You Could Want by Marie Claire!

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