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The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

18 April 2021 (2 minute read)

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💯 100 Days to Offload

This article is one of a series of posts I have written for the 100 Days to Offload challenge. Disclaimer: The challenge focuses on writing frequency rather than quality, and so posts may not always be fully planned out!

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The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes tells the story of a young English woman - Alice - who marries an American man and moves to a small town in Kentucky in the late 1930s.

The Giver of Stars book cover

Not long after arriving in Kentucky Alice realises she may have made a mistake when it comes to her new husband. However, the real story focuses around a job Alice gets working with the local library.

The library begins offering a new service, in which the (female) librarians travel around the local area (often hard to traverse due to mountainous terrain) on horseback to deliver books to those unable to get to town or who wouldn’t usually engage with the library. The concept is based on a real project - the Pack Horse Library Project - and Alice and the other women are met with many different types of personalities on their rounds.

There are focuses on racism, sexism, misogyny, domestic abuse, murder, and much more in the story, and the librarians are faced with a number of hugely difficult situations both when at work and when at home.

The story was fantastic and engaging. I enjoyed the scene-setting, and could easily picture the local town and all the surrounding countryside. You feel an undeniable sense of unfairness in the world as the story progresses - in which rich white men nearly always get their own way in most situations - however the bond that builds between the characters, and their shared experiences, show that this can be overcome.

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