Sunday, March 14, 2021

Audio Review: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

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.

Hardcover, 388 pages
Published October 8th 2019
 by Pamela Dorman Books
2.5/5 stars

I have only ever read 2 books by Jojo Moyes, both were historical and I was excited to read this one.  Unfortunately I am in the minority in regards to my thoughts of The Giver of Stars.

This was an audio read for me and I'm glad I went that route, sadly it might have been a dnf otherwise. I struggled to connect not just with the charIacters but the story as well.  Maybe my expectations were too high but I was looking forward to more of a historical story but this just felt flat to me. Though I will say the friendship that developed between these women helped me to continue listening.  But it wasn't until the last third or so where I felt the story picked up, it had the suspense, mystery and intrigue that I craved even though that was drawn out somewhat.

I remember when this book was first released, a few months after The Bookwomen of Troublesome Creek (which I loved) was released.  There was talk of similarities between these 2 books.  personally I didn't see any, the characters were totally different as was the tone and plot.

Like I said I know that I am in the minority with my thoughts, others loved it so if you like historical fiction in an area relatively unknown then give this one a try.

This book was part of my 2021 Reading of My Shelf Challenge - audiobook via the library via Overdrive.

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