Review: Jojo Moyes – The giver of stars

Posted January 18, 2020 by Laurie in Reviews / 0 Comments

It has been a few years since I read a book by Jojo Moyes. To be exact, that was Me before you in 2016. After this book, I didn’t pick up any other book by this author, although I bought The horse dancer. In October 2019, The giver of stars was released and this synopsis sounded interesting. Books, horses and horse riding? Count me in!

Review: Jojo Moyes – The giver of starsThe giver of stars by Jojo Moyes
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Genres: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Roman
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on October 8, 2019
ISBN: 9780399562488

Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

A Reese's Book Club Pick

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic--a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

The giver of stars starts with a prologue which leads to questions. What happened? Why did that exact thing happen to that exact person? Questions you want to be answered, but we have to wait a very long while for those answers. Actually, the answers are given at like 60% of the book, so do the consequences. At first, we get to know the characters, the women living in a very conservative and poor village in Kentucky. Religion plays a very important role and “dominates” the way the community of this little village deals with issues.

One Sunday morning during service, the project of the library is presented. Women provide books to the community and they do that by horse. They have to travel through mountains and that is easier by horse. At first, people are hesitant, scared even. They don’t want to work for the library or don’t want to borrow books from the women. However, when the story moves forward, we see a shift in the tight community. People are happy with the books and the women running the library start to think for themselves and form their own opinions on certain matters. However, luck is not on their side.

The library has a certain kind of book in store that brings a lot of trouble. Furthermore, the library has Margery O’Hare, a woman who doesn’t give one single bit about what other people think of her and who says everything that’s coming to mind. And it is Margery getting into trouble. When that happens, the story finally picks up pace and you want to continue reading. Will everything be okay?

The giver of stars is a book that takes a long time to pick up. Nothing really happens until about 60% into the book. However, when the story picks up, the character building falls kind of flat and so does the writing. The end felt rushed and it just didn’t feel like a proper wrap-up. This book was interesting, but I’m not sure whether I will pick up another book by Jojo Moyes sometime soon.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.