The Giver of Stars

Jojo Moyes. Viking/Dorman, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-56248-8
An adventure story grounded in female competence and mutual support, and an obvious affection for the popular literature of the early 20th century, give this Depression-era novel plenty of appeal. Alice Wright escapes her stifling English family by marrying an American, but this choice leads to further misery in the rural Kentucky household of her unaffectionate husband and his domineering father, the owner of the local coal mine. She finds respite in riding with the women of the new WPA-sponsored horseback library. She’s sustained by her friendships with the other women, especially the brash, self-sufficient Margery O’Hare, and the appreciation of the isolated families she serves. But powerful men in Baileyville oppose the library, as it employs a black woman, influences women and children’s minds with fiction, encourages previously illiterate families to defend their rights against encroaching mining companies, and teaches women about intimacy through a secret copy of Married Love. Moyes (Still Me) stereotypes her antagonists a bit, but provides tremendous warmth among the librarians and centers their perspectives thoroughly. There’s plenty of drama, but the reader’s lasting impression is one of love. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/19/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-53021-3
Paperback - 640 pages - 978-0-593-15226-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-53019-0
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