The Giver of Stars

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Member Reviews

I am yet to read a JoJo Moyes book that hasn’t blown me away, and this one is no different.
I don’t usually get on with historical novels,  but my love for the author encourages me to try something out of my comfort zone.  This beautifully written and dramatic story kept me reading long into the night and I also felt like I gained a bit of history too. 

4 stars
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Another sweet and enchanting book. I find Jojo Moyes's writing so readable and love that you get to know these characters so intimately.
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Enchanting, spell binding novel which had been written beautifully. I found this completely immersive and a joy to read. Highly recommended. Laughter and tears abound in this multi stranded tale of a group of ladies with a shared purpose. Fantastic.
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This was a fantastic read. This is a historical fiction book set during the Depression in Kentucky. We follow a group of women who are trying to spread the love of reading and books to everyone and make sure that even the poorest people have access to books.

I loved all of the characters and felt that they were really well developed and I liked that they all had their own stories. The women are all different and have experienced their own struggles but they are united by their love for books and their mission. 

I loved Jojo Moye's writing in this one from the descriptions of the landscapes to the well-developed characters. I can tell that the author had done the research for this book as it felt very authentic. This story had a lot of elements to it and they all came together really well and made for an enjoyable read. 

This is by far my favourite book from Jojo Moyes and I hope that she will write more historical fiction in the future.
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Another excellent book by Jojo Moyes. 
As a book lover this really brings home the things book lovers will do to share that love with others. Add in the strength of friendship. An unmissable read
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I was absolutely enthralled by this book. Set in the depression in Kentucky it follows 5 women who trek around the area to deliver a library service to those in remote areas. The women are brought together by the library service and are a very diverse group of girls! It is based on a true story and I really felt as though I was part of the group, choosing books and trying to overcome the difficulties in getting the households to accept books and magazines.
I was so sorry to come to the end of this one. JoJo Moyes books are all so brilliant, yet so very different from each other. You know that you are guaranteed a great read.
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You can always rely on Jojo Moyes for a proper page turner. I have to admit that I wasn't convinced at the start, though, that this would be the same. Historical fiction feels like a bit of a departure from her last few books, but as it played out, the story of the packhouse library told through a bunch of great female characters really gripped me. Lovely romantic plot without being too schmaltzy. The sort of book you need to curl up on the sofa or under teh duvet with and finish in one go.
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I loved Me before You  and couldn't wait to jump into this book.

However I found it very difficult to stay interested in the story & characters and found I was just skimming the pages.

Sadly not for me
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Absolutely loved this. Not a genre I normally go for (Period drama) but as a fan of the author, I couldn’t pass it up. Strong female leads, weak male counterparts...just what the doctor ordered. Really couldn’t put this one down. Grabbed every spare minute to finish it, willing the characters on and feeling their suffering and the injustice and inequality of the time.
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The Giver of Stars, could not be described as JoJo Moyes usual writing material but it certainly does not disappoint. I would go as far as to say I would love to see it as a movie.
So many lovable and unforgettable characters.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the story, following the women who run the pack horse library.  Did expect due to its Kentucky setting American spelling of words rather than the English way.
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I enjoy fiction based on fact and Jojo Moyes brings this time in American history and the packhorse library to life.

All of the characters add a mix of colours to the harshness of the setting. Margery, Alice, Isabelle, Beth and Sophia are the volunteers for the packhorse library. None of them fit neatly into pigeon holes in the community at Baileyville. The experiences they have drew me in emotionally to experience life (and the prejudices) alongside them. How I love a story that can provoke such a diversity of feelings! The growing bond between them is tested and their unity is represented by an intense scene that raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

The harshness of the setting is replicated at first by the reactions they receive from the majority of recipients of the books (and those in the community who think it’s a waste of money to educate others). But as the bond grows amongst themselves it also grows between themselves and the members of the far-flung community. Beautiful friendships develop that support and enrich lives. On the one hand you have the prejudice and the shadows but on the other, there is hope and love. Each of the women learn about themselves and what they are capable of as they grow and develop. I’ve no doubt you will be inspired by their strengths as much as I was.

The Giver of Stars is one of my top reads this year. Highly recommended!
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This is a change of style and subject for Moyes but this is a refreshing move. She has clearly done a massive amount of research and the story feels authentic even if some of the language seems out of context. The sense of place was very strong and the evocation of a very specific period in American history was well executed. I hope to read more in this style from the author.
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Whilst this book is quite different to Jojo Moyes other novels it was still just as well written and enjoyable. The plot is exciting and characters well developed and I found it a quick read for a historical novel which I sometimes struggle with. The Horseback Librarian details were fascinating. A great story and I hope it will be made into a film in the future.
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After so many friends raving about this book, and loving Jojo Moyes other historical fiction I was very excited to read this. It didn't grip me at first and I found myself sidetracked by other books all too easily but once I got halfway through I found it gripping.
A sign of a good historical fiction book for me is that I want to read more factual books about the topic and that's certainly true with this one.
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The Giver of Stars is the perfect book for people who love reading! This is such a stunning novel following five women who were all leading very different lives and all get brought together to become part of a travelling library! It’s set in depression-era Kentucky and it does immediately transport you to this time and I got swept up in it right from the very start.

I have to admit that I’ve found some Jojo Moyes books just okay but others I have loved. My favourite up to reading this one was The Last Letter To Your Lover but The Giver of Stars has beaten it for me. I got completely swept up in the story of these women and I can’t stop thinking about them and the lives they led. I want to know more about the women who really did do this work and I loved when a book sparks off an interest in me.

The novel is all about this small group of women and we see the bonds that gradually form between them. It really feels like such an empowering book, I adored it. The travelling library is based in a township but the patrons all live out in the most rural of areas so the women go out on horses to deliver books to these families. They go out in all weathers all year round each on their own route and I found it so inspiring.

The Giver of Stars predominantly follows Alice who is newly married and expects to learn about life with her new husband but things aren’t right with him from the start. She looks for ways to make it work and to make things better but nothing seems to help so she throws herself increasingly into her work at the library trying to at least find satisfaction in her own life. I loved Alice, I was rooting for her the whole way through the novel.

I was thrilled to be approved for an ARC of this book from NetGalley but I decided to buy a copy of the audio book from Audible so that I could part-read and part-listen and this really worked well for this book. The audio is wonderful and really brought the book to life even more for me so I recommend it.

I so often say that historical fiction isn’t my favourite genre but then I read a book like this that I fall in love with and immediately want to re-read and it reminds me that there are books out there for everyone in all genres, we just have to find the right ones for us. I highly recommend this book!
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This was very different from the other books by JoJo Moyes, in that it is Historical Fiction, but I loved it no less. A really fascinating book, with very real characters you are really rooting for during their trials and tribulations.


It is set during the Depression in Kentucky, America, and is about the Packhorse Librarians, a group of women set up to deliver and collect books to the mountain folk in the area who might have no access to books or magazines and reading. The initiative was set up by the First Lady and the Librarians were paid, but it was a free service to the borrower's, and in many cases became a bit of a lifeline to them.


When bored, middle class Alice meets the handsome and dashing Bennett Van Cleave, and he proposes, she accepts with alacrity, and eagerly anticipates her new life in Kentucky, however things are not always as they seem. She soon realised when they move in with her infuriating father in law that she has swapped one set of problems for another. When at a town meeting they request riders for the new traveling library, Alice quickly volunteers, much to the upset of her husband and father in law.


Alice soon becomes friends with the other librarians, once their initial suspicion of her has worn of - both as an Englishwoman and as the wife of a Van Cleave - the owners of the coal mines. Her best friend is Margery - the leader of the librarians, who is a bit of an enigma in the area. Daughter of a well known drunk, unmarried, and with her own set of standards, but with a heart as big as Kentucky.


The book is their story. Their lives, their lives, their heartbreaks and their stresses, but most of all their love and friendship. A must read.
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When English rose and newlywed Alice Wright travels halfway around the world to her husband’s home in Baileyville, Kentucky, she finds herself the talk of the (small) town. She married wealthy American Bennett van Cleve after a whirlwind romance, seeing it as a chance to escape her stifled life in England. However, Alice soon discovers how little she knows her new husband, and how much their lives are controlled by his over-bearing father. 

Her fortunes change when she meets Margery O'Hare, the town’s tarnished spinster who carries her family’s unsavoury reputation on her shoulders. Margery is on a mission to spread the joy of reading to the poor and illiterate in the area by way of a travelling library, and so enlists Alice’s help. The mission gives Alice as purpose and a sisterhood she’s never had before. 

Based on the real travelling libraries of the 1930s, which were ran by women in the deep south, The Giver of Stars is a joyful and uplifting story of friendship and fearlessness. Heart-warming and captivating, this is another masterpiece from Moyes.
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Hooked from the start .... The whole book becomes so real.... You are completely wrapped in their lives,you become one of the characters.Fantastic read.
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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. 

Based on a true story, it's a vivid and engaging story of reaching beyond what and who you know, the power of books and the women involved in refusing to be stifled.
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