The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

by Kim Michele Richardson


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The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492671527
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 559
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kim Michele Richardson was born in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. Her work includes Liar's Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Sisters of Glass Ferry. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is her fourth novel.

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Tangen 15 days ago
horror, Appalachia, prejudice, starvation, love, historical-research, historical-places-events, historical-fiction, libraries, ***** Cussy Mary Bluet is fiction. The horrors of starvation, prejudice against both blue and black skin colors, and coal mining are real. Also real is the recessant gene for methemogobinemia with the dubious studies and treatment of the 1930s, the pride and perseverance of the people of Appalachia, and the WPA Pack Horse Project librarians including the kindness of those who donated reading materials. The story itself is of one Book Woman who suffered from a misunderstood trait, the debilitating prejudices of those around her, and the soul deep sadness that comes from being helpless to improve the dire living conditions of others. Despite all, the end of this book is uplifting. I requested and received a free ebook copy from Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley. Thank you!
MalkaShayna 10 hours ago
This was a beautifully written book. I highly recommend it. I won an e-copy of this book from BookishFirst. This is my unbiased and voluntary review. This was an amazing book exploring the little known blue skinned people with congenital methemoglobinemia, who lived in remote Appalachian Kentucky during the Great Depression. Now thought to have immigrated from France and descendants of French Huguenots, they were considered "colored" only worse by the ignorant, and shunned so they were forced to intermarry. The author combines this with The Pack Horse Library Project, begun to provide jobs for women and reading material to the poor and isolated people of eastern Kentucky. The fictional story is about nineteen year old Cussy Mary Carter, also known as Bluet, who lives with her father, a coal miner, who like many of the residents of the area are over worked and underpaid for very dangerous work leading to lung disease. Cussy, applies and gets a job as a librarian, where she is ridiculed and spurned by most of the townspeople of Trouble, Kentucky, but is held in high esteem by her patrons. Her father tried to marry her off, like he promised her mother he would, but she has no interest in these men, who are only after the deed to their property. After one disastrous marriage, her father lets her be, and she devotes and sacrifices herself to help the poverty stricken. But there is one man who sees beyond the color of her skin.
BethMorrissette 1 days ago
I loved this book...what a good read! Lots of emotions experienced throughout the story. God writing, characters I cared about, and a smidge of intriguing history as well. I would have been happy to have purchased it, and it’s going to stay in my collection ion. Full disclosure: I received an Advance Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review.
QuirkyCat 2 days ago
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a brilliant and sometimes heartbreaking read. It probably had so much more impact due to the fact that it’s based on a true story, well, sort of. It’s inspired by real people, and a real career (the book women – librarians who would deliver books to locations too far and small for their own library). Set in 1936, the book follows Cussy Carter, but she’s better known as Bluet. She’s a book woman – meaning that she delivers books to her far neighbors so they can have the opportunity to read (or learn to read, in some cases). She’s also blue. This novel deals with a lot of heavy and emotional subjects. It discusses the need for people to have access to books, the consequences of censorship, and the pain of racism and segregation. All of this while telling a beautiful and ultimately uplifting tale. Warnings: There are a few really rough moments in this novel, along with the overall heavier tones to be told. In the beginning of the novel there’s a scene that questions consent, and it comes alongside abuse. There are other abusive moments during the novel, but most of them are verbal. There are mentions of what can happen to a blue person if they acted out though, and it’s rough. This novel also covers racism and segregation. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was an absolutely beautiful novel. The overall message of Bluet – her determination to get books to those that have been so overlooked by life is inspiring. Her need to help others, no matter the cost to herself, was touching, as were many other moments and sentiments in this novel. Unfortunately there were a lot of heavy tones in this novel as well. For example, not everyone was as open to the idea of learning to read as others. And even those that were meant to help increase the exposure to reading weren’t above censorship. This novel will start a conversation: the concept of racism and segregation, and the surprise of seeing Bluet included in that treatment. It’s not something I would have ever considered – though it makes a heartbreaking amount of sense when you think about it. I’m so glad to have had it pointed out to me, and in such a well-written manner. There were moments in this novel where my heart absolutely broke for Bluet, her family, and her friends. But there were other moments where she inspired me. And moments that were truly uplifting. The balance was perfect, and did a wonderful job of carrying the overall message of this story.
Lindsey Brown 3 days ago
From the first paragraphs, this title is evocative and transports you to another time and place. It’s rife with folklore, superstition, and old home remedies – balanced with an honest and colourful depiction of a difficult era and landscape. Inspired by the historical and truly remarkable Kentucky Pack Horse library service and gentle-hearted blue-skinned people of Kentucky, Kim Michele Richardson weaves a poignant and heart-wrenching telling of poverty, misogyny, racial prejudice, and poverty. Through it all, books bind humble souls together – feeding the mind when the land won’t yield food and families are dying of starvation. One of the most moving, well-written books I've read in a while.
somi19ad 5 days ago
This book is absolutely AMAZING!! There’s really nothing more that I could say about this book that others haven’t. I grew up in the hollers of KY and I have two children that are descendants of the Fugates. The author has described everything precisely. Even though I moved away from KY many years ago I found myself reading this book with the KY dialect. This book is a must read. I wish I could give it more stars.
lsmoore_43 8 days ago
I enjoyed this book so much. I learned a lot about people who lived in this area during this time. Some of it was not good but some was happy and loving. Cussy Mary had a very hard life yet she dedicated her time to helping others. She loved the people on her route and the children were her world. The love of reading was so prevalent then and Cussy, or Book Woman as some called her, made it her mission to get books to anyone who wanted them. She ran into lots of mean cruel people or people who just did not understand that she was a human just like them. She was not white and she was not black. She was a blue. She was feared because people didn’t understand what exactly caused her to be blue. All she wanted was to be accepted and treated with kindness. He mama had died and it was only her and her dad. He dad worked in the coal mines and was sick from the coal dust and such hard work. He loved his daughter and only wanted what was best for her. He thought the only way to keep her safe was for her to marry and have a man to protect her. This book had a lot of emotion in it. It made me cry, laugh in places, cringe, and cry some more. There were parts that just made my head spin. I don’t understand how some people can be happy at other people’s expense. How can some people be so mean and cruel just because they think they are better than others. There were lots of very nice caring people in this story too. It made me stop and think quite a bit. It touched me in ways that a good book is suppose to. I’ve never been a prejudice person and don’t intend to start being one now. I have always believed we are created equal and this book certainly had people that loved Cussy Mary even though she was different. She was a ray of sunshine who only wanted to be accepted. I didn’t realize this was based on actual events until I read the Author’s notes at the end. It’s such a good story to be written and I feel very fortunate to have read it. Thank you to Kim Michele Richardson for writing this book. It needed to be written. It was a true joy to be given an ARC of this book. It’s my first by this author but won’t be my last. A huge thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks landmark publishing for the ARC in exchange for my complete and honest review. It’s a big 5 stars from me.
AmyGoBucks 10 days ago
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is set in the poverty-stricken hill country of Kentucky during the 1930s. Cussy Mary is a blue-skinned woman, shunned by her community for being "colored." Her salvation comes through becoming a Book Woman, delivering books to folks living in the backwoods. There is a lot to learn about the period and the "blue people," and for that Richardson educates readers well. For some reason, however, the first half of the book is very hard to get through. While the last half finally hooks the reader into the characters' lives, it takes a long while to get there. Also, the ending is a bit too abrupt. We are hit with some hard reality as it plays out in action, and then the conclusion is simply talked about in a letter. We aren't really allowed to feel better about things. While I wanted to love this book, I found it harsh in ways that kept me somewhat distant. It was hard to keep reading all that Cussy Mary and the people of that place/time endured. Maybe that was exactly the point, but unfortunately, it kept me from loving the book.
Sandy5 10 days ago
Nestled in the backwoods of Kentucky, in the year 1936, there was a glow coming from a courting candle which had been burning quite a while. Pa had made a promise to his wife and thus far, no one came forward to make the commitment and douse the flame, claiming their daughter for his wife. Nineteen-year-old Cussy (Bluet) had been harassed and tormented for being “blue” and she knew that her chances for someone courting her were slim-to-none. Being the last of her kin in Kentucky, her skin had the blue color of her ancestors and Bluet now held the position of being the last ‘Blue” female in the state of Kentucky. Pa’s job at the mine held its own uncertainties so to help out, Bluet found herself a job working with the Pack Horse Library Project. With her mule Junia, she traveled the back hills of Kentucky delivering books to folks who looked forward to her visits. These individuals became like a family to her as she stopped each week dropping off a book and checking in on them. The other librarians also became great friends to Bluet as they grew closer each week. I loved the excitement and the love she felt as she traveled to each of her different drop-off sites each week. The days were long but she felt needed, loved and important as she made these trips. To think that she spent all day doing this and then when she returned home, she had to tend to her mule and fix her father supper so he could go to work, made me tired. To travel by mule and not by horse, took even longer but Junia was a special mule and seemed to be able to read Bluet. She had a special friendship with a girl named Queenie and I enjoyed the time they spent together. The novel started out a bit slow for me but then when things picked-up, I couldn’t put it down till I was finished. I enjoyed how Bluet grew as a person and I cringed when her family got involved with the doctor. I was scared and concerned for Bluet as she just wanted to be accepted by everyone but the price to do seemed so costly. It was hard reading the novel as Bluet tried to be brave because as she puts forth her best, it worried me what the outcome might be. I enjoy reading about the Appalachian Mountains and I felt that this novel was a perfect fit for me. It opened my eyes to the library project as I had never heard of it before. I highly recommend this novel. 4.5 stars Thank you to Bookish First for providing a copy to me in exchange for my honest review.
Suzanne Costner 10 days ago
This book will capture your attention, break your heart, have you crying and mad enough to spit all at the same time. Cussy Mary is a "blue," one of a small group of people with a blue tinge to their skin; she even has the nickname "Bluet." She also is one of the Pack Horse Library Project workers. Being a Book Woman is a bit extraordinary, but Cussy Mary enjoys providing books to her patrons scattered up and down the hollers despite the natural hazards as well as the danger from mean-spirited residents who distrust anyone different. As you read, you will see the natural beauty that surrounds the harsh living conditions of the miners and their families. The fact that they are trying to survive the miserable economy of the 1930s makes the outlook even more bleak. Modern readers will be amazed at the home remedies Cussy Mary's neighbors try and the edibles they manage to forage from the woods around them. But the most enjoyable thing to see is Bluet's spirit, her inner strength despite all the sorrows and hardships, and the hope for a better future for her will keep you reading until the last page. If you enjoy historical fiction with resilient heroines, you must read this book.
Suzanne Costner 10 days ago
This book will capture your attention, break your heart, have you crying and mad enough to spit all at the same time. Cussy Mary is a "blue," one of a small group of people with a blue tinge to their skin; she even has the nickname "Bluet." She also is one of the Pack Horse Library Project workers. Being a Book Woman is a bit extraordinary, but Cussy Mary enjoys providing books to her patrons scattered up and down the hollers despite the natural hazards as well as the danger from mean-spirited residents who distrust anyone different. As you read, you will see the natural beauty that surrounds the harsh living conditions of the miners and their families. The fact that they are trying to survive the miserable economy of the 1930s makes the outlook even more bleak. Modern readers will be amazed at the home remedies Cussy Mary's neighbors try and the edibles they manage to forage from the woods around them. But the most enjoyable thing to see is Bluet's spirit, her inner strength despite all the sorrows and hardships, and the hope for a better future for her will keep you reading until the last page. If you enjoy historical fiction with resilient heroines, you must read this book.
Anonymous 10 days ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Five stars!! Nicknamed Bluet due to her blue skin, Cussy Mary has been an outcast her whole life. Deep in Kentucky, Blue skinned people are looked down upon as tainted, unholy, second class citizens. Now 19, her coal mining father wants nothing more for her than to settle down with a husband and have a family like a decent woman should but she has found her place - as a Book Woman, riding the trails delivering books to the Hill folk, who can't or won't get an education otherwise. Through the books and magazines she delivers she is making a difference in the lives of her patrons, and they are making a difference in hers, giving her a sense of pride an income, and a community. But not everyone is accepting of her as a Blue, and she is increasingly more threatened by the local Preacher, who is determined to "save" her.
SecondRunReviews 10 days ago
While a bit predictable, I did enjoy reading this novel. The characters were ones you were willing to rally behind and support. I loved learning about this lost bit of American history.
brf1948 14 days ago
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is an excellent historical novel, set in the hills of Kentucky. The setting, the language, the personalities are all evocative of these isolated communities in the mid-1930s, the hardships of the depression and the closing of several coal mines, and the works of the WPA. Cussy Mary Carter is 19 years old in 1936, and a new member of the WPA Pack Horse Librarians. She is one of the gentle Blues, those blue-skinned children of two parents carrying the very rare recessive gene for methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder that limits the uptake of oxygen into red blood cells and results in brown colored blood and blue coloration to the skin. There were actually several families of Blues in this area of Kentucky in this time frame. (See the Fugates family information at Cussie, called Bluet by everyone but family, is briefly married to an abusive member of the influential and wide-spread Frazier family, a match approved by her father because he feared his black lung would take him and she would be left unprotected, Cussy is freed when Charlie Frazier's heart attack ends his latest abuse. Her inheritance is a mule named Junia who also fears men, and a return to her much loved WPA job lost to her on her marriage. Cussie loves her job, her patrons, her books. She is a strong advocate of education and does her best to spread reading across her hills. But will she ever find happiness? All it would take to make her happy would be a family of her own, a man who could see past the blue of her skin into the warmth of her heart. But that would be impossible, with the built-in prejudice in the Appalachian community that includes Troublesome, Kentucky. I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Michele Richardson, and Sourcebooks Landmark. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this book of my own volition, and this review is my honest opinion of this work.
Dhammelef 15 days ago
This book opened my eyes and mind to historical events that were completely new to me. This well-researched book contains author's notes at the end which explain more about the actual book women that risked their lives and endured hardships to bring books and knowledge to the poor. She provided photos of the librarians on their routes, delivering books and reading to their patrons. I loved the concrete feel of the writing that painted this setting and the people in 3D, with sights, smells, sounds, and textures, and with such powerful, resonating emotion with both the hardships and joys of back country life. I recommend this book for historical fiction fans as well as those who enjoy a really good story. Trigger warnings: attempted rape, suicide, racism, and hate crimes
Shelley-S-Reviewer 15 days ago
As I began reading I was amazed at the intimate knowledge of language, euphemisms, and slang of the Appalachian culture. The characters were amazingly developed. I cried for Cussy, I loved her father's devotion towards her and even the antagonists were given good backstories to help you understand them, even if you hated them. It's a gripping story that pulled me in and I was unable to put this book down. With each chapter we learn more about the Appalachian way of life. I felt immersed in the story and there were small surprises at every turn of the page. I really devoured this book and had it on my mind when I wasn't reading - a sure sign of a terrific novel. It is well written with a tremendous sense of time and place. I felt like I was right there in Kentucky with Cussy, trying to forge a life. I am often put off by the use of regional dialect but in this case, it was used moderately and not enough to distract from enjoyment of the story. There’s so much that I could say about this incredible book. That it’s beautifully written. A valuable contribution to contemporary Southern literature, particularly in its portrayal of womanhood. A meditation on what it means to be human. So I think I’ll just close by saying that The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek reminded me to be kinder and more empathetic, and that my judgement of a person, for good or for bad, will forever fail at seeing and acknowledging the entirety of a person. We all have whole worlds inside of us, no matter the colour of our skin. I loved this book.
ColoradoGirl71 15 days ago
5 fantastic blue stars to “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” Every once in a while, a book turns out to be an amazing surprise, not much hype yet, but something about it draws you in. This is the case with this book. I found it very intriguing to read about women (mostly) who would take books to isolated folks in Kentucky and other rural spots via horseback. Imagine my surprise when the main character is described as having blue skin – I had to rethink the genre of this book, was this science fiction? No, it turns out that there were some people in Kentucky with this very condition. The first surprise of this book! I loved Cussy Blue, the amazing Appalachian woman in this story. Extremely poor, she still gave away food and medicine to others rather than keep it for herself. So giving of her time to read to folks and select books and magazine that they would want to read. Braving treacherous paths to get to her patrons as a Pack Horse Librarian. The discrimination she faced was difficult to read at times, but somehow, she overcomes all of that to be a generous person and beloved to many in the community. She is faced with an option to “cure” her condition and there are some very interesting interactions with this – does her appearance change who she really is at heart? Will others see her differently? This book demanded my attention and I highly recommend it to everyone! This was my first read by this author, but it won’t be my last! She has such an authentic writing style, I felt I was there with Cussy and the townspeople. Many of the townspeople hang on to old superstition and dangerous religious beliefs.
snowpeach . 15 days ago
It was so interesting to read this story. I never had heard of the "blue" people. My husband spent some time on Kentucky and he heard about them. I loved Cussy. She had a great spirit even when people looked down on her because of her condition. I really liked the Pack Horse program. It was a great idea to get books out to people that would otherwise not be able to read books. I really didn't seem to like much of the patrons Cussy had until they started coming around and really looking out for Cussy . I also had to research the courting candle. Something else I had never heard of and I thought that was an interesting way to get one of your children married. I felt so bad for Cussy and Jackson at the end but I love that they found a way to get around what happened.
lee2staes 15 days ago
This book tells the story of Cussy Carter, a blue lady, who is a rural Kentucky packhorse librarian in the 1930’s. The Pack Horse Library Project was established by President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1935 to create jobs for women and to bring books into Appalachia. Racism ran deep in Appalachia and this was a serious problem for Cussy, because she had blue skin, a condition brought about by a rare genetic disorder that causes a blue pigmentation. It took a very strong woman and the power of books to deal with this prejudice. It’s an incredible story of true grit, much pain and tenderness. This is an incredibly book. I love it. I highly recommend it. Advance reader copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Angie0184 16 days ago
The Fugates of KY, carriers of a rare gene called methemoglobeinemia, had blue skin due to red blood cells carrying methemoglobin at levels higher than 1%. In laymen’s terms, the hemoglobin can carry oxygen but it’s not able to release it effectively to body tissues. This also makes the blood look like chocolate. Thanks medline plus! This book is based loosely on that family and the struggles they faced, as they were considered “colored” in those times, as well as the WPA, the government’s Works Progress Administration, which was instrumental in helping create the book women in Kentucky, who rode miles on horseback, on mules, through hollers, up creeks, and anywhere they were needed in Kentucky to ensure that the library program was reaching people that had little been exposed to reading before. Most rural schools didn’t have a library so these women were exposing children and families to books and bringing the outside world to Appalachia in a way it had never been before. Ok, enough history, onto The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Troublesome Creek is a real place (about 113 miles southeast of Lexington), as was the WPA, the book women, and the blue Fugates. Ms. Cussy Mary, her patrons, her pa, and the like are all a work of fiction, but it brings the region and the tale to life in an absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking, and sometimes rage inducing way. Her pa is a coal miner, because of course he is. There was very little other gainful employment in the region back then, and we get emotionally drawn in as his health and well-being is sacrificed in favor of others since he’s “just a blue” and isn’t considered as high value as the white miners. Richardson creates in Cussy (our protagonist, and a beautifully rendered woman of her time that values books above all else) a true gem. She knows just how to draw out each patron, what will work to get that recalcitrant patron’s interest in the library program, how to get that moonshinin’ father to let his boys read her books, how far one kind gesture can go in getting nearly an entire town to support her in a moment of need. But deep down, she still feels less than at some moments. She still wants to know what it feels like to not be considered less than because of the color of her skin. Doc offers her that when he discovers that she suffers from a gene disorder related to oxygen after a particularly violent visit to the hospital. Cussy has a choice to make at this point. Is she willing to accept herself as she is? As a certain patron of hers sees the inner beauty that she already holds? Or will she given in because of the hateful taunting and disgust that she sees on the faces of townsfolk when she visits the library center in town? I got utterly sucked in by this book. Richardson has painted a picture from the unique characters, to the heartbreaking pain and poverty that ransacked the Appalachian region in the 30s. It’s a little bit history book, a little bit love story, some pain and some joy, all interwoven into the perfect kind of story for people that can share a kinship with the kind of woman that would ride miles to share her love of stories. If you love to read as much as I do, and would do just about anything to share the joy of books, this story is for you.
TJReads 16 days ago
Oh my, my, this is a sweet gem of a story. The writing is excellent, the storyline is great, the delivery could not have been done any better and the depiction of life in rural Kentucky was spot on. When I wasn’t reading, I was researching the WPA, the horse delivery library system and the blues. This is right up there with one of the best books I’ve read this year. I so enjoy a book that grabs my interest and never let’s go, this one met that criteria. I came to care so much for Cussy (Bluet) and Junia, what a kind, thoughtful, courageous woman with her trusty mule. I will not cover the description of what this book is about, but I will say it does a wonderful job of describing the hard times in Kentucky in the 1930’s, how the horse librarians delivered books on their routes, the life of a coal miner, ramifications of forming a union and especially how hard it is to live with being different in an unforgiving environment. The writing was so descriptive you could picture the trails, the places and the people. There were several specific scenes during this book that just wowed me, one included Jackson, the other was Cussy’s trip to town, I’m sure you’ll realize when you find them. I highly recommend this book, if you love historical fiction about actual true events this is a read you will truly enjoy. This one gets high 5*****’s. I was given an advanced copy from Sourcebooks Landmark and Net Galley for my honest review.
Ms-Hurst 16 days ago
A tribute to a person and an idea. This one so clearly expresses how important books are to some of us and is a must read for every book lover. Read it when you are ready to go on an emotional ride, though. I'm not sure I was in the right mind space for it. I wasn't ready. So it threw me around a little more than I would have liked. The beautiful Appalachians of the past are so wonderfully represented that I want to go back.
Christianfictionandmore 16 days ago
Not since Before We Were Yours has a book touched my heart to this degree. I believe having done some online research about the blue people of Kentucky, and reading about the Fugate family of Troublesome Creek, deepened the influence this book had on me. Being a book lover, I was also fascinated by the Pack Horse Library Project, a part of the Works Progress Administration of Roosevelt's New Deal Acts. In the years of its service, over one thousand Pack Horse librarians served nearly 600,000 Appalachian patrons, taking reading materials, both donated and created by the librarians themselves, into the poorest and most isolated areas of eastern Kentucky. This story is a testament to how far we have come in Kentucky, and perhaps how far we still have to go. It addresses the importance of education,civil rights, and compassion. In heart-wrenching ways the author reminds us of the high cost of poverty. Where we have been is often an arrow pointing in the direction we still need to proceed. The winding mountain trails tread by these librarians in eastern Kentucky may exemplify the route we have taken in moving forward. Readers of my reviews know that I typically review Christian fiction. While the language in this book prevents if from falling within that genre, it is not without strong spiritual elements. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek will take root in your heart like our deep rooted Kentucky oaks. I am grateful to have received a copy of this book from Sourcebooks Landmark in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review, and received no monetary compensation. I give this book my highest recommendation, and hope it received the recognition it deserves.
teachlz 16 days ago
Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Michele Richardson, Sourcebooks, May 7, 2019 WOW! Kudos to Kim Michele Richardson, Author of “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” for writing such an intriguing, intense, captivating, riveting, compelling and thought-provoking novel. I love the vivid descriptions that Kim Michele Richardson uses of the characters and landscape. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, and Historical Fiction. The time-line for this novel is the Depression in Kentucky. The story goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events . The author describes her dramatic characters as complex and complicated. I found two things fascinating in “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”. The first is how important the Book Women who carried books and magazines on mule or horse were to the poverty-stricken people in the hills. The people looked forward to literacy, and trying to be able to connect with their world and make it a little bigger and better. The hills were treacherous, and there were all kinds of dangers for the Book Women to negotiate. The second thing that I am amazed with is the “Blue People” who actually exist in Kentucky. These people were really blue and considered “colored” and feared because others felt they were contagious, and inferior. There was terrible prejudice to these people. More information can be found in the story. Food was scarce during the Depression, but the people were so grateful for the Book Woman to bring the books to loan, they would often want to share what little they had. In Troublesome, the people were lucky to have one woman deliver the books. I loved how courageous and brave the Book Woman was. I highly recommend this amazing novel, especially for those readers who enjoy adventure and a thought-provoking book. I received an ARC for my honest review.
rendezvous_with_reading 16 days ago
An indomitable spirit in the face of prejudice and fear. Thank you Source Books and Bookish First for a free copy to review! Participating in the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project as part of Roosevelt's New Deal is a source of pride to Cussy Mary Carter and it gives her a sense of purpose and independence. Cussy, is unique among her fellow librarians as one of the last blue skinned people of her kind, a result of a inherited genetic blood disorder. Cussy loves her job and with her faithful, protective mule, Junia, she travels her route distributing books to the poverty stricken families of the Appalachian mountains during the Great Depression. Cussy's father, a widowed coal miner worries who will take care of her when he's gone and pushes Cussy into a marriage she doesn't want with tragic consequences. When she has a second opportunity at freedom, she returns to her job. Her patrons rely on her to bring them books, magazines and news of the outside world. Some distrust the books she brings, afraid that they will bring change and some are just prejudiced of her blue skin. But despite the threats and dangers that lurk on her book route, Cussy is tenacious at serving the needs of her patrons. For example, when "Devil John" complains that his wife and children aren't getting their chores done because they're always reading, he tells Cussy to stop bringing books. But, she sees that his real fear is his children's ability surpass him due to his illiteracy. She cleverly handles situations like this with reasoning and her knowledge of the mountain folk. I really loved Cussy and her indomitable spirit. Not only does she endure bigotry and fears directed at her because of her color, but she rises up against ignorance and superstition stemming from a lack of education and poverty. She demonstrates empathy and neighborly love for her patrons, often delivering not just books, but also much needed food and medicine at great cost to herself. This is a fascinating look a the history of this unique library project, and also at the history of the blue-skinned people of Kentucky. It examines the heartbreaking conditions of the impoverished people living in the Appalachian Mountains at one of the most economic trying times in US history. And yet, it shows how powerful literacy can be in the face of xenophobia and fear; themes that resonate today. I highly recommend this one!