The Giver of Stars is an inspirational tale of friendship, determination and above all the power of books!
The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes
Alice Wright doesn’t love her new American husband.
Nor her domineering father-in-law or the judgmental townsfolk of Baileyville, Kentucky.
Stifled and misunderstood, she yearns for escape and finds it in defiant Margery O’Hare and the sisterhood bringing books to the isolated and vulnerable.
But when her father-in-law and the town turn against them, Alice fears the freedom, friendship and the new love she’s found will be lost . . .
The Giver of Stars Review
If I’m being honest with you, I don’t think I would have picked up The Giver of Stars if quite a few people hadn’t recommended me it. It falls into that girly, rom-com section that I just never reach for (despite how many times I watch rom-com films) and it just isn’t usually my jam.
But, as is often the case, I was wrong.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Giver of Stars and absolutely raced through it. It’s such a fun, easy read and the characters are vividly drawn, so you’re instantly pulled in.
Set in the 1930s, it reimagines the story of the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky who were very much real people that delivered books all over the local rural areas. The story focuses on Alice, a young English woman who escapes her prim and proper family and moves to Kentucky after marrying a handsome American. Unfortunately, her American life isn’t the great adventure that she had hoped for and her marriage is unsatisfying. Plus her father-in-law, who she lives with, is an absolute jerk. Fortunately, Alice finds purpose and friendship when she joins the group of women who work in the library delivering books.
The librarians are a great group. Headed up by Margery O’Hare, the fiercely independent daughter of a cruel bootlegger who has ridden the mountains all her life, they stick up for themselves and each other. She is joined by Beth, Izzy and Sophia who are all outsiders in different ways, but in the group, they find safety and companionship. Plus there’s Fred, who gave me classic Luke Danes pining for the women he loves vibes.
What I liked about this book was the focus on female choice and empowerment, which I wasn’t expecting. The women all have to make tough choices and sacrifices to keep hold of their autonomy. The book also touches on issues of race, misogyny, and class whilst being light-hearted and uplifting. It also focuses on the importance of reading and education, which is still as relevant now as it was then.
Some of the characters were perhaps kind of obvious, but I still think it worked. You are transported to the time and I felt like I was up in those mountains with them!
It’s likely you’ve already read The Giver of Stars because I am about 100 years late to the game, but if you haven’t I’d give it a go. It’s a perfect summer read!