The Giver of Stars (1)

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Giver of Stars was read by Suffolk Library Reading Group in March 2021. It is a fictional story of the courageous librarians of the real life WPA Packhorse library that brought books to the most isolated parts of rural and mountainous Kentucky in the1930s. The books tells the story of brave and unconventional women - Margery O’Hare who runs the library and must battle for justice within the judgemental local community. English woman Alice Van Cleve looking to escape a disappointing marriage and find herself, and Sophia and her son William fighting racial prejudice as well as ignorance in this Appalachian back water.

Our reading group member said – “It was a very good read.  I enjoyed the fact that the story was based on a true incentive in history, The WPA Packhorse Library Project. It makes you realise what life was like back then living in remote regions in rural Kentucky, it gave people access to books to become more literate and a way out of poverty.  The first few chapters were slow for me but as the plot grows and the characters evolve it was fascinating”. Another said. “I started reading and I was hooked!  Her characters came alive on my page, I was in their world.  I imagined the harsh wintry conditions of the mountain paths and the parents and children’s delight in learning to read amongst their poverty”.

 I loved this book myself, especially as a librarian. It reminded me how important books were, and are still, to those that do not have easy access to them, as we do.

Submitted by Tinya for Suffolk Library Reading Group – still meeting monthly through Zoom.