Isolation is the painful undertone of this book. The Blue people of Kentucky were segregated in the 1930s much the same as those who had anything but white skin. This book explores the life of Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry and is based on true life.
This novel is a love letter to books. It will make you feel like it was written hundreds and hundreds of years ago. When in reality it’s the story of generations that are alive today. In a few lifetimes, how things have changed and evolved is really impressive. The difficulty for many in obtaining books and reading materials back in the 1930s is highlighted throughout this book. Education, learning to read, learning to write and being transported to other worlds in the few pages of a book were a luxury.
Gratitude, Pride, Sacrifice, Family, Love, Loss and Strength are just some of the themes that stood out to me as I read this book. I read it in less than a day because once I started, I couldn’t stop. I even started my review as I went along because I didn’t want to forget the emotions that it was evoking in me. I really do recommend this book especially if you enjoyed Where The Crawdads Sing.
About the book…
In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry.
The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.
Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government’s new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.
Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians in literary novels—a story of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: May 2019
About the author…
Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. Her novels include, Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Sisters of Glass Ferry. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is her fourth novel.
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