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, a troublesome woman — and daughter of a notorious felon — 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 the town 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.
Title : The Giver of Stars
Author : Jojo Moyes
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 448
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Publisher : Michael Joseph, Penguin Books
Release Date : October 3, 2019
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5
Micky’s 4.5 star review
I should know…know that when I read a Jojo Moyes book that it’s going to pack an emotional punch but with this blurb, I just didn’t see it coming. THE GIVER OF STARS had me invested quickly and feeling like a family member to the librarian sisterhood, so that when things happened, I felt devastated and scared to read on. The themes of misogyny, racism and feminism made this both emotional and empowering.
The context of reading, teaching poor and downtrodden women, children and men to read through the distrubution of books was in the background but it also powerful to observe. These women on their riding rounds also comforted the sick, grieving and took on the role of friends, confidentes and substitute mother figures.
I didn’t expect this book to be unputdownable, but it was as Moyes made the mundane work of Alice, Margery, Izzy and Beth’s lives totally readable and absorbing. Alice was the main protagonist, an English newly-wed, a little prissy but a genuinely sweet woman. The life she found in Kentucky was not at all what she expected and I tore my hair out over her and Bennett’s relationship. There were some revolting men in this book but then there were also some fantastic characters in Fred and Sven, they were the light in my reading and this book.
There was a second supporting protagonist in Margery and she really captured my heart. I loved her rebelliousness, her unconventional ways and willingness to be different. Her later storyline had me distraught, sad and prone to weeping. I just did not know where this book was going to end, there were so many possibilities.
I have come away from this read inspired. Jojo Moyes took me on a journey with this story and I am all the richer for it. This is historical women’s fiction at it’s best and I will remember this book for years, I am sure.
Thank you to Michael Joseph for the review copy.