Today I have a review of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Thank you to Sourcebooks for the gifted copy. I’ll tell you now- I absolutely loved every word of this book. It is a must-read!
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was a story I savored. The experience of reading it is one I won’t soon forget.
In the 1930s, Cussy Mary Carter is living in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. Her skin is blue, and she is considered “colored” at the time. She’s lonely, and she works hard as a Pack Horse Librarian running books to people in the hills and mountains that would have no access to books if not for her and her loyal pack mule, Junia.
I should also mention Cussy Mary’s Pa works in the coal mines and is rather ill but still working arduously to provide meager food for the pair.
Throughout the book, the reader travels alongside Cussy Mary as she visits her various patrons and delivers their carefully curated books, which are in short supply, often heavily used, but so well-loved by Cussy Mary and the recipients.
Cussy is passionate about her job and literacy. She sees it as the key to be a better way of life for her community. Not only that, it’s a true escape from the dire conditions in which they live.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a beautifully-rendered, poignant novel powering the reader through a mix of emotions. You will love Cussy Mary. You will love her Pa. You will fall for Junia who has more personality than some people I know. She’s quite the character!
You will come to know the hills of Kentucky and its hardscrabble people during this difficult time. But you will also come to know, as you already do, dear reader, that books empower those who have been deprived and instill hope to the weary and lost. Priceless.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek will be a novel I remember from the summer of 2019. The experience of reading it and its endearing characters will always be carried with me. I save room for the best kinds of books to do just that.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
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.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people–a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman’s chances beyond the darkly hollows. 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 Pack horse Librarians in literary novels — a story of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.
Have you read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR