Exclusive: A Sneak Peek at Jojo Moyes' Upcoming Novel

Posted by Cybil on April 1, 2019
Jojo Moyes, the beloved author of more than a dozen novels including the adapted-for-the-screen Me Before You, will be back in book stores this fall with a new historical novel.

In The Giver of Stars, Moyes takes readers to Depression-era Kentucky where she follows the lives of a team of women who deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling library program.

Moyes exclusively talked to Goodreads about her inspiration and research for the upcoming novel and shares an exclusive sneak peek of the book's cover. Be sure to add it to your Want to Read shelf before it comes out on October 8.

Rate this book
Clear rating
Goodreads: The Giver of Stars is based on a true story. Tell readers about how you happened upon that history and why it resonated with you?

Jojo Moyes: I was reading an online edition of the Smithsonian magazine back in June 2017 when I came upon a piece called "Horse-riding Librarians Were the Great Depression’s Bookmobiles." Horses and books are two of my favorite things, so that immediately grabbed my attention.

But it was the images that accompanied the story that really stood out: young women, their saddlebags full of books, preparing to ride out in vast and often unfriendly terrain or reading to families who had nothing.

The story of these women—battling to bring facts and knowledge in an age where snake oil salesmen and religious fundamentalism dictated the behavior of many—seemed hugely resonant. Most of all, I was drawn to a story about women who did something, rather than simply dress beautifully or fall in love.

I have never enjoyed writing a book as much as I loved writing this one.

Rate this book
Clear rating

Rate this book
Clear rating
GR: You’re best known for contemporary fiction. Tell us about the appeal of writing historical fiction and some of the opportunities and challenges you experienced writing about women in Depression-era Kentucky?

JM: I’ve actually written several books set in the past—one in World War I (The Girl You Left Behind), one on a warship in World War II (Ship of Brides), and two in the 1960s (The Last Letter from Your Lover and The Peacock Emporium).

For me, the key is to immerse yourself so that the facts feel like a natural extension of the world you create and not something shoehorned in painfully. I felt a huge responsibility to get this right, not least because the idea of writing about Kentucky and getting it wrong was awful (and Appalachian folk are not slow to let you know if you do!).

So I made a series of visits, staying in a tiny cabin in a remote holler, riding horses up into the mountains on some of the same routes the women would have taken, getting a feel not just for the landscape and wilderness but for the way language is used—in a place where storytelling is part of life.

I also did a lot of reading—from academic texts about mining and prison conditions to court documents of the time to try to ensure factual accuracy. Still, if I hadn’t spent so much time in that part of the mountains, I don’t think I would have been able to write the book. The language and the women I met—strong, resilient, funny, smart women—infuse this book and fuel its spirit. I ended up falling in love with rural Kentucky (not a sentence I ever expected to write) and have made friends I expect to keep for life.

The Giver of Stars will be available on October 8, 2019. Don’t forget to add it to your Want to Read shelf!

Comments Showing 1-50 of 285 (285 new)

message 1: by Fran (new)

Fran All I saw was Eleanor Roosevelt and I was hooked. Can’t wait! Beautiful cover!

message 2: by Betfarm (new)

Betfarm Beautiful cover! I absolutely can not wait for this book!!! can I read it now ? lol!

message 3: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Burton This is amazing. I think it was sometime last year, yes, even in modern times, that the Appalachian folk struggle. The news story was about efforts to bring books and literacy to Appalachian children in Kentucky. The children and families as a whole in these rural/mining places don’t have a lot of money or resources.

message 4: by Chattynatty (new)

Chattynatty Van Waning Love this. So excited!

message 5: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Can not wait to read this!

message 6: by Shelby (new)

Shelby It will be on my list to read!

message 7: by Julie (new)

Julie Mills I’m in!! Can’t wait until October!! 👏🏻😁

message 8: by Roqaya (new)

Roqaya Well, Jojo Moyes is a well known author with her passionate writing, she is just living her writing to the point that you feel you are riding with her in her journey, if I wanted to really read and finish good book I will be looking forward to her. Will be waiting for this one as well

message 9: by Sue (new)

Sue I've added it to my fall lists. Can't wait to read it!

message 10: by JoAnne (new)

JoAnne Can't wait. I'm available to read an advanced copy.....please 😊

message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan I hope there will be opportunities for advance reader copies! This is one that I know my book club (I’m a librarian in Ohio) will just adore. Please keep me in mind should you offer ARCs. I know I would set up my group with this book soon after it’s release!

message 12: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Add to my "want to read" list! Love her work!

message 13: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I can’t wait to read this! The topic looks fascinating.

message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda This sounds like a beautiful read! Like many others have said, I would love an advanced readers copy!

message 15: by Janice (new)

Janice Looking forward to it. Nice cover and intriguing story line.

message 16: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Toller Wow!!! Sounds really interesting. Looking forward to reading this.

message 17: by Margie (new)

Margie Love the cover. Love the idea of the story. Definitely want to read

Lyn (Readinghearts) really looking forward to this one!

message 19: by etherealfire (new)

etherealfire Beautiful cover. Really excited to read this book!

message 20: by Casey (new)

Casey I'm so looking forward to reading this book! I wrote a blog on the history of these traveling librarians for my editorial website, The Meticulous Type. Wonderfully courageous and giving women!


message 21: by Ana (new)

Ana Would definitely read this!

message 22: by Patrice (new)

Patrice I'm a huge fan of Jojo Moyes' work and books and horses. This one is definitely going on my to-read list.

message 23: by Jennifer Annan (new)

Jennifer Annan House Something to look forward to! I just finished The Library Book and loved it, so I am sure I will enjoy this historical fiction about horseback riding librarians. And I love the cover. It reminds me of Ireland.

message 24: by Dione (new)

Dione Connelly Can’t wait! Love everything by Jojo Moyes.

message 25: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Disidoro I will add it to my “to read list”. Looking forward to seeing it in the fall. Thanks for letting me know.

message 26: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Love the cover makes me want to read it!

message 27: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Krige Love reading books that are based on strong historical women. It sounds like this book has plenty of them. Looks good!

message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie So excited to read this. I was born in WV, this sounds like a very special book.

message 29: by Joan (new)

Joan Look forward to the new book. I’m assuming there will be an Audible version.

message 30: by Gina (new)

Gina What a wonderful idea for a book! Cannot wait to read it!

message 31: by imabookmagnet (new)

imabookmagnet Sounds amazing! Can’t wait to read 🙀

message 32: by Katie (new)

Katie McCarthy So excited!

message 33: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Whooohooo. Can’t wait

message 34: by Tareq (new)

Tareq Ghanem It will be on the top priority of list

message 35: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Hall I love this writer and as a Kentucky native, I cannot wait for this book to come out.

message 36: by Diane (new)

Diane Loved all your books so far. I’m sure this will be a hit for me, too!

message 37: by Ileana (new)

Ileana Jojo Moyes is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is so perfect - not difficult to read and to get used to the characters, well anchored in the atmosphere of the action, all that details coming from the time of the action. So, YES, I can’t wait to read it!

message 38: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Jojo Moyes is one of my favorite authors. Her novels envelop the reader into moments in time: some beautiful, others painful. Looking forward to The Giver of Stars!

message 39: by Annie (new)

Annie It sounds like a book I would want to read!

message 40: by Janice (new)

Janice Gilbert Looks like I have a date with The Giver of Stars - calendar has been marked! 👏🏼

message 41: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Can’t wait for this and happy to read an advanced cop!

message 42: by Marian (new)

Marian Koltay Very much looking forward to reading it!

message 43: by Birgit (last edited Apr 01, 2019 02:50PM) (new)

Birgit Can’t wait for this. I love historical fiction and if Jo Jo Moyes has written this then then I know I’m up for an interesting and engaging novel. I would love an advanced copy asa kindle book or hard cover and more than happy to write a review.

message 44: by Nancyj6975 (new)

Nancyj6975 I will definitely be reading it, too! :)

message 45: by Court (new)

Court this sounds like such a good book!! i can't wait to read it!

message 46: by Maryann (new)

Maryann I would also be interested in an advanced copy :)

message 47: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Barnett I can not wait for this to come out!

message 48: by Becky (new)

Becky I can’t wait to read this book. I’d love an advanced copy too.😄

message 49: by Louise (new)

Louise Grant Stunning cover. Can’t wait to read.

message 50: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Love her writing. Can’t wait

« previous 1 3 4 5 6
back to top