Book review by Dinh.
I was very keen on reading The Book Woman Of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson after reading the blurb on the back. I have never heard about the blue-skinned people of Kentucky nor Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library program and was intrigued!
My interest was also piqued by the controversy surrounding The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and Jojo Moyes’ book The Giver of Stars. Some claiming that there was ‘plagiarism’ going on. I am not sure what all the fuss was about but facts are that Moyes book came out only five months after Richardson’s. Both books are set in Kentucky and about the Pack Horse Librarians. The story line between the two books are not at all similar.
Going in I was expecting Richardson’s book to be good. Reviews were great and it was recommend quite a bit.
So did the book meet my expectations? Yes, it went above my expectation! Definitely well worth the read!
Here’s what I loved about it:
What a great story!
I love that the author took a little piece of history that is not widely known – the Pack Horse Librarians– and made that part of the story.
In addition to the history of the Pack Horse Librarian, the author added another dimension- the blue skinned people of Kentucky – to make this an amazing story.
This unique storyline with the historic setting was just awesome.
These two nuggets had my full attention right off the bat!
Richardson does a great job in making the book feel authentic. You can tell that Richardson did a lot of research because of the tone, language and facts are proof of it.
Written in first person’s voice, the voice of Cussy Mary the main character, was a great choice. We get to witness first hand all the hardship and anxiety Cussy goes through and cannot help but to fall in love with her for her persistence to continue despite all the adversity she faces.
The author won me over with not only the factual information in this book, but with her wonderful story telling. I was pulled in right from the first page and kept reading past the author’s note. I loved the map and photos at the end!
Furthermore, I enjoyed tremendously the various themes in the book. Prejudice and discrimination were the forefront themes but there was also love and friendship.
Moreover, I enjoyed the side story of the coal mining community. Life in the 1930s was hard and living in Appalachians during that time was harsh.
Lastly, the author does a great job in pulling your emotions. It was emotive through out the book.
The characters in the book were superb. Cussy Mary was my favorite character!
Cussy Mary Carter – I admire Cussy for her determination to persevere despite the racial discrimination and hardship she goes through. She is kind and makes an impact on the patrons she serves. Her kindness shines through when she makes a deal with Doc to continue the testing of her blood but get food so she can help feed the children at the school.
I did enjoy the ending but I found that it just ended abruptly. I was hoping for a bit more on what happened next.
My Final Thoughts
I loved The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek! This was a fantastic historical fiction that will remain with you after the book is done.
Don’t miss out on this one! Beautifully written, historically accurate and based on the real life of the blue skinned people of Kentucky, this book will pull you in.
It’s well worth the read!
Belong to a book club? Check out The Book Woman Of Troublesome Creek book club discussion questions!