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The Giver of Stars

de Jojo Moyes

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,4701315,210 (4.05)95
"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"--… (més)
  1. 00
    Upright Women Wanted de Sarah Gailey (raidergirl3)
    raidergirl3: Both books are about female librarians bringing info to isolated women. Giver of Stars is based in the past in Kentucky and Upright Women Wanted is futuristic.
  2. 00
    The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek de Kim Michele Richardson (out-and-about)
    out-and-about: Same time frame and setting, about the PackHorse library in KY.
  3. 00
    The Ship of Brides de Jojo Moyes (MM_Jones)
    MM_Jones: Earlier book by same author makes better use of its historical setting. And perhaps a bit more evidence of research done.
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This was an extraordinary book based on real events, and told with compassion and realism both. It takes place during the Depression when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had the brilliant idea to bring books to people who might not otherwise have access to them. In this setting, it is the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, a region that is still facing difficulty with basic access to books.

It starts from the point of view of newlywed Alice Van Cleve, a British woman who did not quite fit in to her parents' view of what a young woman should be and instead marries the son of a Kentucky mining boss. She finds that married life with her new husband in his family home, with his father's bedroom across from hers, is not quite what she had hoped for. And so when an opportunity presents itself to escape for a few days on a worthwhile endeavor, she takes it.

The growth and acclimation Alice goes through are as much a part of her learning her route through the mountains on horseback as the households she serves. Some she meets through the crack of a doorway, some greet her with sadness and sickness in their midst. And she is not the only member of this group who is changed by her work: each of the other riders on this route learn what they are bringing to the mountain homes is more than just words on the page.

Thankfully, it is not sappy nor maudlin nor paternalistic. It is a relatively accurate telling of this time and effort in American history, made all the more realistic by the author's time spent in these same Kentucky mountains. ( )
  threadnsong | Nov 25, 2022 |
I thought she captured the characters pretty well and the setting too, the conversations read well also. There were interesting storylines about race issues as well as gender, domestic abuse, and mining issues. It seemed like the husband's issues weren't really developed though. I had read the other novel with this subject first and it was weird how similar and different things were. ( )
  EllenH | Oct 7, 2022 |
Finished this at the weekend and I have a friend to thank for the recommendation! I enjoy books about books and this is based on a factual time in history.
Remote Kentucky mid 1930s is not a welcoming place. Margery, born and bred on the mountain knows how to survive and in spite of their differences she and Alice, newly arrived from England, become friends. Books have given them a connection. This story, about a determined group of women who volunteer to work for a new federal scheme called The Packhorse Librarians, divided the townsfolk. These women did it tough! They rode out in all weather conditions to reach as many of the isolated homesteads as possible, spending 6 to 8 hours in the saddle most days. They not only delivered books but often read to the families who couldn’t read. They were the only regular human contact many of the women and children received and became a lifeblood to most. Margery and Alice are two strongly drawn characters and like all good books their narrative will draw you in. It’s the solidarity of friendship that gave them the strength to carry on and I take my hat off to all the women who made this project the success it was and am grateful to have discovered their story. ( )
  Fliss88 | Sep 26, 2022 |
This was just the book I was needing to come across. I had it sitting on my shelf for a while when I decided to read it. I instantly fell in love with it!

I had never read anything written by Jojo Moyes before because I only knew about her romances, which I didn't feel like they were something I would enjoy. However, this book seemed different. I love historical fiction and this definitely looked like my kind of reading. I was right!
The book tells us about the WPA Packhorse Library in Baileyville (a fictional town in Kentucky), which was a program run in the US during the Great Depression that aimed to deliver books to remote regions in the Appalachian Mountains. Most of all, it tells us about its librarians and its townspeople - their lives, dreams, and struggles.

It's really a book about friendship, community, and the love for books. It also touches on some important issues, such as racial segregation and the role of women in society. The characters are so amazing and inspiring. It's quite impossible to not fall in love with the women in this book and to wish you were friends with them. What is more, this book really gave me vibes of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society with To Kill a Mockingbird and even a bit of The Color Purple, in my opinion. I loved all of the previous books, so this had the recipe for success.

Definitely made it to my favorites list of this year and it will certainly be a book that I will keep with me for a long, long time. When the movie finally comes out, I'll be the first in line to watch it, I'm sure! ( )
  helloitsrafaela | Aug 22, 2022 |
Bookclub book for March 2020 by Beth. ( )
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Jojo Moyesautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Vries, Willemijn deNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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To Barbara Napier,
who gave me stars when I needed them.
And to librarians everywhere.
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December 20, 1937
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“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.”
And there is the bare truth of it, for her and all the women around here. Doesn't matter how smart you are, how clever, how self-reliant---you can always be bettered by a stupid man with a gun.
Just a little homesick, Alice answered. it was the truth, she thought. She just wasn't sure she had yet been to the place she was homesick for.
"You know the worst thing about a man hitting you? ...Ain't the hurt. It's that in that instant you realize the truth of what it is to be a woman. That it don't matter how smart you are, how much better at arguing, how much better than them, period. It's when you realize they can always just shut you up with a fist. Just like that...Course, you know that only happens till you learn to hit back harder."
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"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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