'Alice had come halfway across the world to find that, yet again, she was considered wanting. Well, she thought, if that was what everyone thought, she might as well live up to it.'
England, late 1930s, and Alice Wright - restless, stifled - makes an impulsive decision to marry wealthy American Bennett van Cleve and leave her home and family behind.
But stuffy, disapproving Baileyville, Kentucky, where her husband favours work over his wife, and is dominated by his overbearing father, is not the adventure - or the escape - that she hoped for.
That is, until she meets Margery O'Hare - daughter of a notorious felon and a troublesome woman the town wishes to forget.
Margery's on a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to the poor and lost - and she needs Alice's help.
Trekking alone under big open skies, through wild mountain forests, Alice, Margery and their fellow sisters of the trail discover freedom, friendship - and a life to call their own.
But when Baileyville turns against them, will their belief in one another - and the power of the written word - be enough to save them?
Inspired by a remarkable true story, The Giver of Stars features five incredible women who will prove to be every bit as beloved as Lou Clark, the unforgettable heroine of Me Before You.
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Average rating from 260 members
Love, love, love this book! And if you love sharing the joy of reading, this book is absolutely for you too. The Horseback Librarians really existed back in 1930s-40s Kentucky, and The Giver of Stars is based on the setup of a new branch. Margery O'Hare, an unconventional woman, already with a tainted reputation as daughter of a moonshiner, starts the branch up with her mule Charley. Next to be recruited is Alice Van Cleve, an English woman, newly (and unhappily) married to the son of the local mine-owner. Margery and Alice recruit more girls to join them, and together some formidable friendships are formed as the ladies buck all conventions. A story about the power of reading, the power of friendship, and of independence. Brilliant and fascinating.
I've loved JoJo Moyes books for a long time, and 'The Giver of Stars' is her best work yet! Set in the Great Depression in Kentucky, we follow a group of women who all break the norms of their society, and fight to set up the packhorse library. These women are flawed, feisty, and endearing. From songbird Izzy, to tom-boy Beth, independent Marge, intelligent Sophia, and strong minded Alice. I couldn't put it down. I would read it again and again. Beautiful language that bring the landscape, the adventure and the women to life with love and the genius of a master storyteller.