The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

By Kim Michele Richardson,

Book cover of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Book description

The bestselling historical fiction from Kim Michele Richardson, this is a novel following Cussy Mary, a packhorse librarian and her quest to bring books to the Appalachian community she loves, perfect for readers…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Sometimes you pick a book just to be entertained; I did not expect to be educated so much with this book!

I thought the “blue” people were made up for the storyline until I saw their pictures. Then I was hooked and had to do some googling to find out more about these extraordinary people. The book highlights not only the struggles of the blue color of the main character, Cussy Mary Carter, but her tough life as a traveling librarian bringing books to isolated mountain readers.

I admit I am a little biased in reading this because she is…

Set in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s, Cussy embodies strength and fearlessness in the face of prejudice and hardship. Her skin is a light shade of blue, and she lives in a community of people who blame a Blue for every misery they encounter. She fights to earn a packhorse librarian’s position and, in snow and rain, travels the dangerous mountain trails to bring books to the hill people who despise her.  The Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project causes dissension on the mountain, and her skin color causes even more, but her indomitable spirit endures, and her belief in the power…

From JuliAnne's list on unconventional, courageous women.

I was inspired by the strong women in this book about Kentucky women who risked their lives to see that everyone had an opportunity to learn to read and have books in their hands. Plus, there is an additional theme which surprised me, and who doesn’t like a surprise. As a writer, avid reader, and retired teacher, I appreciate being able to connect with what I’m reading. This, also, was an eye-opening read into our history. Understanding history, I feel, is an important part of understanding who I am.

If you’re looking for a story rich in a southern setting, you cannot go wrong with this one. Richardson is masterful at dialogue, and her prose is sure to sweep you into a surprising, enchanting world. I love stories like The Book Woman because I learn something new, but I don’t feel like I’m learning. I feel like I’m living in the world of the story.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson speaks to intense research and reveals unsung superheroes: librarians who carried enlightenment into dark hollers on a pack mule. Richardson’s rich characters are armed with the plucky determination required of our pioneers, but they reach beyond the necessary to survive and tap into the will to thrive thanks to the power of books. 

From Leah's list on southern books that transport us.

Although fiction, this book skillfully portrays both the depression-era WPA Pack Librarians and the plight of the Blue Fugates of Kentucky. Not black but not white, these blue people found prejudice and discrimination everywhere.  And medical science was only beginning to understand the origins of their genetic abnormality. A fascinating look at a forgotten people and their struggles to belong in a cruel and judgmental society.

From Diane's list on racism in the USA.

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