The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is historical fiction at its very best! Set in 1939 Southern Kentucky, the lives of five strong female characters come together to form and operate the Packhorse Library, where they deliver by horseback, books, magazines and newspapers to those living in remote, rural areas.
One of the main characters, Alice, an Englishwoman, marries an American and is brought to Kentucky where she hopes to start a new, dazzling life with her husband. That is not to be the case. Alice finds living with her husband and her father-in-law to be stifling and oppressive. Alice gets involved in starting and operating the Packhorse Library with four other women and her life becomes fulfilled and has purpose. A murder is thrown into the mix, and the mystery aspect of the story keeps the reader guessing as to how the lives of the women will be affected.
Jojo Moyes’s past works of contemporary fiction (Me Before You, After You, Still Me) have been enjoyable reads for me. But The Giver of Stars is on another level and is my favorite novel of hers to date. The writing and development of the characters is phenomenal. The relationships that Moyes develops for each of her characters are deep and multi-faceted. This narrative will stay with you long after you have read the last page. If you are a lover of historical fiction, The Giver of Stars is for you. Additionally, it is a great novel for book groups as there is much content to discuss with many interesting characters and relationships. Get on the library Hold List now, as I predict this novel becoming the Where the Crawdad’s Sing of 2020!