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.
Though she made her mark writing contemporary romance, Moyes proves just as adept at historical fiction, gracefully infusing her story with strong, memorable female characters and a sprinkling of men who can make a 'heart flutter like a clean sheet on a long line.' The Giver of Stars is a celebration of love, but also of reading, of knowledge, of female friendship, of the beauty of our most rural corners and our enduring American grit: the kind of true grit that can be found in the hills of Kentucky and on the pages of this inspiring book.
Readers familiar with Moyes’ very British narrative voice will be thrilled that she translates seamlessly into Appalachian, and she weaves a tough sort of protofeminism in with labor unrest and romance in this story that doesn’t stereotype but lifts up the work of the women who run the library and the lives they impact. There are tears and laughter in this homage to the power of reading and the strength of community.
Rich in history, with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place, this book will fit well in any library’s fiction collection. For fans of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants or Catherine Marshall’s Christy.