If you can get past heartbreaking bits early in the story, this novel is a wonderful slice of historical fiction. It blends the history of the blue people from the Kentucky hills with the history of the pack horse librarians, for a strong, touching story of racism, kindness, and the power of the written word.
Cussy Mary is a terrific character who doesn’t have an easy time of it, but will triumph in the end. Work is hard, food is scarce, and living conditions minimal. Her love of books, her genuine compassion for folks, and her true grit made the difference for her, like it can for anyone. She went out of her way to help others, and you love her for it.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a good depiction of the deep Kentucky hills in the 1930’s. I listened to it on audio, and thought that added to the story, with the dialect coming through in addition. You might want to give it a listen as well; I give this book 4 stars. There is a sequel to this book I look forward to reading soon, about the book woman’s daughter.