The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars

eBook - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9780399562501
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Absolutely delightful. I chose this book from a list of suggested book club titles. I highly recommend the audiobook version, as the narrator does a fantastic job with the pacing and voices. The characters and plot reminded me of books like Fried Green Tomatoes, The Color Purple, How to Make an American Quilt, or even Steel Magnolias. Recommended for fans of historical fiction, strong female characters, and anybody who loves their library!

Mar 24, 2020

After the first three books I read by Jojo Moyes, 'Me Before You', 'After You', 'Still Me', I wasn't convinced I'd read another, not because of her writing but more because I felt, and still feel, she was rather cheer leading a concept I find utterly loathsome.

I gave her another try with 'The Horse Dancer', and, as with 'The Giver of Stars', I am so glad I did.

'The Giver of Stars', based on "The WPA's Packhouse Librarians of Kentucky", is gritty and honest in emotion. The women find their strength in the support they receive from each other and from the gratefulness of the simple gift of books to folks whose only goal is trying to survive.

Those brave ladies, unbeknownst to themselves, were true early "feminists", forging their way, helping folks that others wouldn't, moving and acting quietly but determinedly to achieve their goals in the face of dire conditions, the condemnation of the controlling men and norms in their small part of the world. I find it a quite a pronounced and sad counterpoint to the self-proclaimed feminists of today who seem to only stand up for other women whose ideological stance mirrors their own, who scorn those whose doesn't, whose sole objective has become promoting a single cause, often loudly and vulgarly, with which most disagree.

I expected some of the outcomes of 'The Giver of Stars' but was surprised by how they came about. There are parts that will bring you to tears and others you will cheer loudly.

'The Giver of Stars' is a wonderful book. Savor every moment of it, even the horrible reality of those people in that time. You will not be disappointed. And, how could you not be excited about the love of books and libraries?

5 Stars

Mar 09, 2020

I loved this book SO much! A second book about the pack horse librarians! And every bit as good. I loved Alice, the young woman from England, but I loved Margery even more. I stayed up way too late reading this marvelous story.

VaughanPLKim Mar 07, 2020

Before reading this book, I was not familiar with the Kentucky packhorse librarians. I enjoyed learning more about this part of history, as well as the friendships that formed between the librarians despite their quite different backgrounds. Since the book's publication, there have been accusations that it bears too many similarities to "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek" by Kim Michele Richardson, though the publisher stands by the work. Readers are encouraged to read both novels.

ontherideau Mar 06, 2020

"You know what the worst thing about a man hitting you?" "Ain't the hurt. It's 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 can realize they can always shut you up with a fist. Just like that." Ninety years later this is still a reality for many women.
Giver is of Stars is eerily reminiscent of gun culture in the USA today, the dependence and the power.
Gratitude to the Roosevelts who pushed library programs to educate and enlighten.

JCLHeatherM Mar 05, 2020

'Giver of Stars' is very well-written in terms of characterization of the six librarian pioneers who tended to to the literary (and often otherwise) needs of the rural folk. There's great instances of female friendship, and two beautiful love stories included to warm the heart. The ending proved satisfying for all characters involved (save for the villain), which is always a nice perk.

Mar 05, 2020

The story and characters were interesting but I felt the ending was contrived and not up to the quality of the rest of the book.

Feb 23, 2020

A book about depression era America did not appeal to me but when I saw it was by my favorite author Jo Jo Moyes I decided to give it a try. I really liked it as the women in it were very strong and stood up for themselves.Yet, the reality of the era was that men hit women, making the powerful Margery say, "You know what the worst thing about a man hitting you?" "Ain't the hurt. It's 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 can realize they can always shut you up with a fist. Just like that." That is what Alice had to realize too but the book proceeds with a library giving women a raison d'etre and the ending justified my reading the 387 pages.

Feb 13, 2020

I read this for the "A Bestseller" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I really enjoyed it, I really felt for Alice and appreciated how strong she was in standing up for herself. The ending felt a bit rushed and incomplete, but the rest of it I couldn't put down.

Feb 10, 2020

I liked this even more than "Me Before You" because of the real history and relevant details of life in 1930's England and Kentucky.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
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."


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at CHPL

To Top