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September 26, 2019

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Spring had finally come and I shed the dying winter, the death of maritial bed, and returned briefly to my ten-year-old child of yesteryear.  I leaned into the raw spring wind feeling the spirit of books bursting in my saddlebags - the life climbing into my bones."  (loc 362)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

May 2019; Sourcebooks Landmark; 978-1492691631
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); southern fiction
It's 1936 and America is in the midst of the Depression. One of the hard hit areas is in rural Kentucky in the mountains. Work and food are scarce and entire families lose their lives to illness and starvation. The coal mines are still working but the workers are forced to work in terrible conditions and there are frequent problems that cause death to workers. Roosevelt has started the WPA (Works Progress Administration) which put many people to work. The Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky was part of the WPA and gave jobs to single women who delivered books and magazines to the impoverished people in the mountains.

Cussy Carter is a lonely 19-year-old girl when she gets a job as a librarian carrying books to people. She is single, much to her father's dismay but she feels that she will never marry because of her blue skin. She enjoys reading and gets great joy in sharing reading material to people who have no way of getting it. She also enjoys the people on her route and becomes friends to many of them. When she goes into town, she is faced with discrimination. The sign NO COLOREDS ALLOWED, applies not only to the black residents but also the few blue residents who live in the area. (Goggle Blue people of Kentucky to find out more about this group of people.)

Cussy is a wonderful main character. Because of her love of books, she is happy to be providing reading material to other people. Due to her loneliness, she is able to identify with many of the people on her book route and makes them part of her life. The mountains of Kentucky are well described and make the story even more beautiful.

This is a wonderful story about love and family, acceptance and prejudice and importantly the love of the written word. It's this author's best book yet and I highly recommend it.

Buy The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek at Amazon

NOTE:  As a way to pay it forward, Kim has built a tiny home in the wilds of Kentucky to create a writers/ artists residency, named Shy Rabbit. Slated completion date spring of 2019. Shy Rabbit will provide scholarships and a food stipend several times during the year to writers anywhere who seek a contemplative and tranquil place to work and create. An NYC literary and film agent will review and select from the applicants.

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