Book Club: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (ZM)

Jan 31, 2024


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Convener: Sylvia Skippen

Facilitator: Marianne Spilberg


This is a truly breathtaking story of the travelling library established by five extraordinary women through the mountains of Kentucky in Depression-era America. Hoping to escape her stifling life in England, Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve. However, small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally oppressive, especially living with her dominating father-in-law. When a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new travelling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. Margery is the leader and Alice’s greatest ally. She is a self-sufficient and smart-talking woman, who will never ask a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who became known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. What happens to them—and to the men they love—becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity, and passion.

Though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job—bringing books to people who have never had any, and sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives. This is a richly rewarding novel that is at times funny and at other times heart-rendering.

The Giver of Stars (an excerpt from the Washington Times review by Karin Tanabe)

“An impulsive British woman, her band of librarians on horseback, a punishing winter in Southern Appalachia, moonshiners with itchy trigger fingers and the town’s coal tycoon just begging them to shoot: What could possibly go wrong?
Thus sets the stage for “The Giver of Stars,” by “Me Before You” author Jojo Moyes. Based on the true story of the Pack Horse Library initiative — a Works Progress Administration project that ran from 1935 to 1943 and turned women and their steeds into bookmobiles — Moyes’s characters travel into the remote Eastern Kentucky mountains to deliver learning to the most isolated residents…”

We hope you can register and join us in the discussion of this book.