The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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"I've been a huge Jojo Moyes fan. Her characters are so compelling. . . It's such a great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together." –Reese Witherspoon
From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

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.
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group


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May 02, 2021

I enjoyed so many things about this book especially the two very brilliant twists at the end of it. To think that these women were actually able to accomplish what they did during this time, is amazing and a testament to the strong determination and fortitude of women with a mission of goodness. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!

Apr 15, 2021

Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged women to become horse librarians in rural areas where people could not reach actual libraries. This WPA Pack Horse Librarian program ran from 1935 to 1943 as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The Giver of Stars recounts the struggle of achieving trust for these women in rural, mountainous Kentucky. The five women who run this mobile library form a lasting friendship amid a cruel world. JoJo Moyes displays the poverty during the Depression, the perils of a marriage, the horrors of a mining town, and the power of a tight-knit community. The women in this story strive to have reading and learning available to everyone but face many obstacles. What a contrast to the 21st century.

Mar 23, 2021

What a wonderful book! I can't believe that it has taken me this long to read it! The characters are well written and the description of the town of Baileyville and the surrounding countryside of Kentucky are breathtaking. Moyes captures the tensions of the time with the emergence of women and coloured rights as well as intertwining a romance to the story, showing that love really can conquer all. I cried, I laughed and I sighed. My favourite line was on the first page - "...That Mack McGuire, he makes my heart flutter like a clean sheet on a long line." Do't put it off, read it now!

ArapahoeMarcia Mar 20, 2021

This is another precious book by Jojo Moyes. It recounts the packhorse librarians in rural Kentucky during the Great Depression. Filled with memorable characters in an unforgettable setting. Highly recommended.

Mar 03, 2021

This novel is written by a romance story author and hence is very predictable. Nevertheless, the story of female friendship and the pack horse librarians is worthwhile.

Feb 22, 2021

I thought it would be a very light, happy-go-lucky, interesting read about all the good work the Depression era packhorse librarians did for their Kentucky community, which the book certainly accomplished, but this book is really much, much more than that. It's a story of an English woman and Kentucky women from all kinds of backgrounds ---- their lives, triumphs, hardships and overcoming them. I really applaud the author for creating a fascinating group of female characters of whom I truly grew fond, especially the main characters Alice and Margery. These women's task of bringing books to their community changes each one in individual ways, giving them a purpose, compass, strength and grit. The book does go into some dark areas of life which surprised me but also kept me turning the pages to find out how things would turn out for them. The reader will thus get a big of punch of reality as the book is not a sunny walk down a flowered path. Yet it is one of the best stories I have read all year. Absolutely brilliant story telling and worth reading. This book exceeded all my expectations.

Feb 17, 2021

Recommended by Daphne

JCLRachelN Feb 01, 2021

This was a fascinating story set during Kentucky’s time of Pack Horse librarians. I enjoyed getting to know each of the librarians and quickly became invested in their lives as they started the traveling library, warmed up members of their community to the idea of the library with each visit, and became like family to each other. This might be a re-read for me!

Jan 18, 2021

I enjoyed this book though it drug a little in the beginning. I especially love how strong the main character became in her life, and was amused at the characters she met along the way. Totally fun read. Definitely recommend.

Jan 14, 2021

I give 4 1/2 stars to THE GIVER OF STARS, an excellent work of historic fiction. Author Jojo Moyes captures the sights, sounds, and feel of Depression-era Kentucky, particularly the attitudes and social mores of the time. Six incredible women are at the heart of the story. As members of the Pack Horse Librarians, a real-life WPA (Works Progress Administration) project, they face multiple challenges, including class, racism, misogyny, and abuse. These characters are well-drawn, with distinct personalities, and over the course of the novel, I came to care about each of them. Their stories are told against the beautiful backdrop of the rural Kentucky mountains. This poignant drama of friendship, injustice, mystery, and romance is sure to become a classic.

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Jan 14, 2021

“I worked it out sitting here. Maybe that’s the thing we need to understand, Alice. That some things are a gift, even if you don’t get to keep them.”
There was a silence before he spoke again.
“Maybe just to know that something this beautiful exists is all we can really ask for.” - pp. 308 & 309

Jan 14, 2021

“There is always a way out of a situation. Might be ugly. Might leave you feeling like the earth has gone and shifted under your feet. But you are never trapped, Alice. You hear me? There is always a way around.” - p. 188

ArapahoeKathy Jan 13, 2021

Life is complicated. Which is why finding a little joy where you can is important.

Feb 14, 2020

"Look outwards, Alice," Margery would say, her voice carrying on the breeze. "Not much point worrying what the town thinks about you--nothing you can do about that anyway. But when you look outwards, why, there's a whole world of beautiful things."


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Feb 20, 2021

Depression era. Women involved in Eleanor Roosevelt's WPA Packhorse Library. 390 p.
Sr Ctr list for Sept 2021.


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