The Giver of Stars

- Jojo Moyes


Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond

When Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve, she escapes her stifling life in England, but small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books on horseback as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. What happens to these women—and to the men they love—becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity, and passion.

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.



Listen. Three miles deep in the forest just below Arnott’s Ridge, and you’re in silence so dense it’s like you’re wading through it. There’s no birdsong past dawn, not even in high summer, and especially not now, with the chill air so thick with moisture that it stills those few leaves clinging gamely to the branches. Among the oak and hickory nothing stirs: wild animals are deep underground, soft pelts intertwined in narrow caves or hollowed-out trunks. The snow is so deep the mule’s legs disappear up to his hocks, and every few strides he staggers and snorts suspiciously, checking for loose flints and holes under the endless white. Only the narrow creek below moves confidently, its clear water murmuring and bubbling over the stony bed, headed down towards an endpoint nobody around here has ever seen.



I thoroughly enjoyed The Giver of Stars. Not only was the story captivating, but I also can’t believe I’ve never heard anything about the Pack Horse Library Project. I mean, I’m not American, but it seems like a topic that would have (or should have!) come up at some point in my 31 years of life.

I’m usually pretty bad at predicting outcomes, so it was no surprise that the twists and turns gripped me tightly throughout this story. I love that there wasn’t just one central plot point or hurdle to overcome and that every character had a full life that contributed its own drama and complications to the story.

Was everything a bit too easy to round up? Sure. Did everyone (who deserved one) get a happy ending? Of course. But this did not take away from my enjoyment of the book in the slightest. It may have been unrealistic and unlikely (and, frankly, a bit of a cop-out), but it made me happy. Although it was super cheesy, it was also very satisfying to get a ‘where are they now’ end of the credits summary. Sometimes you want the author to leave you to imagine how the characters end up, but it was very nice not to have to do that here.


**EDIT after reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek:**

TBWoTC takes absolutely nothing away from TGoS and, in fact, only adds to the depth and the character of this story. I still enjoyed TGoS and recommend it to anyone interested in the Pack Horse Library Project and looking for an easy, summer beach read. If you’re looking for a little more depth, darkness, and reality, I would highly recommend TBWoTC.



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