The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes Book Summary



USA Today's top 100 books to read while stuck at home social distancing

I’ve been a huge Jojo Moyes fan. Her characters are so compelling. . . It’s such a great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together.” –Reese Witherspoon

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

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.

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. 


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The Giver of Stars (Jojo Moyes) Book Reviews

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- Rural Kentucky, Feisty Women, Traveling Libraries - Fascinating!4 star

A well crafted story of rural Kentucky built around a little known government program in the 1930s that used small traveling libraries to promote literacy. But that hardly does this novel justice. Because it’s about so much more. Alice Van Cleve is a young, English woman who marries the son of a wealthy American coal mine tycoon, to escape her too-proper life and critical parents. Alice and Bennett settle into her father-in-law’s home in rural Kentucky. Although her home life turns our disappointing, Alice soon volunteers for the fledgling library program where she meets a small group of disparate women who slowly become a tight circle of friends. One is Margery O’Hare - a gutsy mid-thirties single woman who speaks her mind, flaunts the conventions of society, and is even more interesting a character than Alice. There’s also a young woman whose polio disability and overprotective mother have closed down her life. A tomboy eager for time away from an all-male household. And a quiet, dignified black woman who knows much more about libraries than all the others put together. But the story is less about the library program itself than about the lives of women in rural America in the 1930s. The deeply ingrained expectations that shape their lives, the limitations imposed by a conservative society, and the consequences — both good and bad — when women begin to behave more independently. The story is also set against the growing labor movement in America. The Van Cleve mines — with their sub-standard housing, over-priced company store, and unsafe mining conditions — are relentless in their efforts to resist unionization. And like many men with money and power, Mr. Van Cleve expects (demands!) to get his way in all areas of his life. Especially dangerous in someone who so fiercely holds grudges. It’s a suspenseful read, with unexpected twists and turns. And yet, there is also a central love story that is tender and lovely. A well-executed historical novel that will show you a slice of historical America you've probably never seen.

- Best book I’ve read this year5 star

This was one I was sad when it was over. I absolutely loved the characters and everything about it. I had a busy week and still somehow managed to read this in a few day’s because I couldn’t put it down.

- Excellent5 star

Very unique characters and story line. Beautifully written and moving.

- Great Read!5 star

I could not put this book down. Beautifully written, lavish imagery, and a satisfying ending. One of the best books I have read in a long time!

- Wonderful5 star

From opening page to the words on the final page, the book captures and holds one’s attention. The characters are genuine and colored with personality. I didn’t want the book to end, Always a good sign!

- Horrible1 star

This may be the worst book I ever read.

- The Giver of Stars4 star

This is an interesting well written book. It will make a good movie.

- Excellent!5 star

A great book.

- The Giver of Stars5 star

Beautifully written about a slice of little known American history. The decription of eastern rural Kentucky mountains in the 1930’s made you feel like you were right there with the characters and their pack animals as these women delivered their library books to the rural inhabitants. I couldn’t put it down. An excellent pick for our bookclub!

- Powerful4 star

What a beautifully written book. It has love, friendship, murder, etc. I never knew of the Kentucky library system and the work that was done to spread literacy into the harder to reach and more rural areas. So beautifully written and so glad Reese witherspoon book club suggested it!

- Pls help!1 star

I wanted this to be read to me (I.e. audiobook) but it requires me to read it. How do I ‘return’ this purchase?

- Book nerds will love this !5 star

Excellent, entertaining and a quick read.

- Giving Stars5 star

Great read

- Highly recommend5 star

Great book with lots of dynamic characters and plot twists. Love the women of this book and the men that support them. The ending does a nice job of wrapping everything up for the reader too! Similar writing style in a way to JoJo Moyes’ Ship of Brides to me. Great read!

- Interesting but too sad for me3 star

I cried way more than I laughed.

- Loved it!5 star

Great book that had me hooked very quickly.

- The Giver of Stars5 star

We’ve come a long ways ladies. The oppressiveness our “foremothers” endured was disgraceful. This book reminds us all of everyone’s equal rights and our right to be treated with human decencies. The characters were beautifully developed, unique and strong in their own right. I want all my grand daughters to read this book and appreciate their own strengths and know there is nothing they cannot do. Sit back, relax and enter Kentucky in the late 1930’s as an observer. You will not be sorry.

- Not for me1 star

I found this book extremely boring Stopped reading it and deleted from my iPad. It had such great reviews. Very disappointing.

- Giver of Stars5 star

A page turner for sure!

- Absolutely loved this novel!5 star

What a truly beautiful story of the bonds women share and the strength and courage they lend to one another. The characters of this story stay with you long after the story is finished.

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The Giver of Stars : A Novel

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5 of 5 stars to The Giver by Lois Lowry

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5 of 5 stars to The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

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@Sharond_01 @mikegayle It’s really good - loads to recommend. @jojomoyes The Giver of Stars is another gorgeous one…

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“The Giver of Stars” by JOJO Moyes. A sweeping rural romance that tells a fictionalized account of the Kentucky Pac…

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