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The Giver of Stars

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,408 ratings  ·  443 reviews

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 and The Peacock Emporium .

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustro

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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Pamela Dorman Books (first published October 3rd 2019)
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Lara I read "Book Woman" a couple of months ago (recommendation from a friend) and greatly enjoyed it--I'm from the South, and while I knew in general…moreI read "Book Woman" a couple of months ago (recommendation from a friend) and greatly enjoyed it--I'm from the South, and while I knew in general about the Pack Horse Librarians, the depth of research Ms. Richardson put into the story really made it shine. I have nothing against Ms. Moyes or her writing, but I find her claim that she wrote Giver of Stars in a creative frenzy and somehow (amid all the research she says she did) never heard about the other recent book with the similar plot/setting rather ridiculous. I am also, along with Pam, frustrated that Moyes' book is getting publicity and a movie deal nearly sight unseen, while Richardson's book is overshadowed.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,408 ratings  ·  443 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-read-list
I don’t have to give 5 billion stars to this book! I would donate the full galaxy system to the author if I could. (I already made a phone call and talked to a NASA technician about their star auction department, unfortunately he hanged up on my face! Can you believe it? And I told them I was Buzz Aldrin’s wife, those young people are really disrespectful, see I still stay in role!)

This amazing, fantastic, funny, heartwarming, emotional, genuine book gave me HOPE, HAPPINESS, made me SO RELIEVED
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
***NOW AVAILABLE***

I was so excited to see that Ms. Moyes had chosen to write a historical fiction novel and was fortunate enough to obtain an advanced readers copy. It is different from her previous contemporary women’s fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This book is a quick read, the prose flows beautifully and the plot moves along at a good pace. I found the characters to be well developed, interesting and unique.

As you all know from the blurb this book is based on the 1930’s Horseback Lib
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Paromjit
A brilliant epic historical drama set in the US Depression era in Kentucky and the Appalachians from Jojo Moyes that draws on real life actual history. Those who have been life long readers will understand the power of books and reading, Moyes focuses on just how important books can be in challenging and changing people and in shaping the world in this powerful telling of the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. The English Alice Wright weds American Bennett Van Cleve on his European Tour to escape ...more
Debra
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt started a traveling library program and many women answered the call to become traveling librarians. Women traveled on horseback to bring books to those living in rural areas. From the years of 1936 to 1940 over 100,000 people were brought books.

Recently married, Alice (Wright) Van Cleve, has moved from England to her new
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Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
I am far in the minority here with this one. For someone who rarely is I am not sure what is wrong with me. Way too much drama here for me and with similarities to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek I am just one BIG grump so I am moving on!
Nadia
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Giver of Stars is a historical fiction novel featuring true events that took place in Kentucky in late 30s and early 40s when a group of young women got employed by a US government scheme to go into the mountains on horses and take books to families who might not otherwise get a chance to read.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I did enjoy the author's Me Before You but didn't feel the need to carry on with the two follow up books. Some stories are better left alone. The Giver of S
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Mary S. R.
Apr 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Historical fiction based on a true story of horse-riding librarians who were the Great Depression’s bookmobiles?
Diverse young women, their saddlebags full of books, preparing to ride out in vast and often unfriendly terrain or reading to families who had nothing?

Books + librarians + strong diverse women + horses + mountains + hardships + incredible unexplored history + great characters = me being the victim of a very brutal robbery!

I have to be honest, I've read one two three four—FIVE books by
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Mark
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Anyone who has read a jojo moyles book knows that, in reality no reviews of a new book by her are needed as her writing is the biz 😎
I had no idea what this book was about ( just the author was enough for me to want to read and review ) and so when I read the intro was surprised to read the book is based on a group of women in Kentucky in the late 1930’s who, via horseback, start a library to help encourage people in remote areas to read, it wasn’t I thought, probably a book for me but of course
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Angela M
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful tribute to how books can change people’s lives and to the Kentucky Pack Horse Librarians, so of course I loved this book. I first heard of the Pack Horse Librarians when I read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. It’s a fascinating piece of history. This initiative was started by Eleanor Roosevelt as part of the Works Progress Administration set up in the mid 1930’s. At first I thought that this would be just a good story about a group of gutsy, dedicated women who brought b ...more
Pauline
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is a story based in the 1930s about the Horseback Librarians. Horseback Librarians did exist and this is a story of a new branch, The Baileyville Packhorse Library, Kentucky.
Five women risk long rides everyday over inhospitable terrain in all weathers to bring, books and magazines to poor people living far from town with little or no transport. People are wary of them and they have to take time to earn their trust. Other people in the township are against their e
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Jillian Doherty
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could give 10 stars, that still wouldn't be enough~

Incredible unexplored history meets well honed characters you become fully devoted to~
plus throughout the story Moyes weaves incredible literary passages, newspaper or journal snippets, which helps illustrate the journey the characters are living with beguiling clarity.

For fans of the unyielding frontier heroism, for readers of layered history, and incredible character growth and connection - as well as those who adore and/or have never r
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Karren  Sandercock
The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes is set in Kentucky during the 1930's and Alice a new English bride finds herself living in a little town called Baileyville.

Alice Wright jumps at the chance to leave her boring life in England behind and quickly marries American Bennett Van Cleve. She assumes life as a married women will be far more interesting, she has no idea her husband lives in such a remote area and shares a house with his father.
When she arrives in Kentucky she discovers they will be living
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Diane S ☔
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
4.5 when I first started reading this I thought, wonderful another story about the pack librarians, this set in Kentucky. Wondered how close it would be to the The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Except for the job itself and being part of the WPA, not close at all. I was also glad that do many authors are writing about little known history, of strong women who refused to bend and accept only the roles available at that time.

Then I fell for the characters, was pulled into each of their lives. W
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Sophia
Reading The Giver of Stars was like the joy of taking in the breadth of an intricate oil painting and zooming in on the minute whorls and dabs of colors that made up the detail work. It was a lush experience trying this new to me author and her debut into historical fiction.

I've always wanted to read this author's books since they came to my attention with the movie adaption of Me Before You, but the content of that one had me nervous because I don't reach for those heartbreaker type of stories.
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Marisa
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story! JoJo Moyes has done it again.

GIVER OF THE STARS is different than the contemporary fiction that Moyes has written in the past. However even though this novel is based on true events and people it is Moyes's rich character development and the story line of these ladies that drives the novel.

I knew little of the WPA library but love that i learned more about it from reading this novel. The strength and fortitude these ladies showed is incredible. I want to learn more about
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Anna Luce
★★✰✰✰ 2.5 stars

“She wasn’t really one for big groups, but she quite liked this, the jokes and the merriment, and the way that you could see actual friendships springing up around the room, like green shoots.”


The Giver of Stars is a sweeping romantic western that tells a fictionalised account of the Kentucky Pack Horse Librarians. It is very much a book-club kind of book as it is inspired by a real group of librarians who between 1935 and 1943 delivered books to some of the most remote regions
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Sarah
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I love Jojo Moyes books so was delighted to see she had a new one coming out. From the blurb alone it is obvious that The Giver Of Stars is very different to her other novels but that intrigued me even more.

The story centres mainly around Alice and Margery. Alice is an English woman who is quite restless and not understood by her family so jumps at the chance of marrying an American man which gives her the opportunity for new adventures. Sadly Alice's marriage is not what she hoped it to be. I c
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MicheleReader
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely book and a nice surprise coming from Jojo Moyes, a wonderful author who is normally associated with contemporary women’s fiction. This is a work of historical fiction that takes us to depression era Kentucky. Alice Wright escapes her restrictive life in England by marrying the well-to-do, good looking Bennett Van Cleve. She soon joins forces with a group of local women to bring books to its poor and they become the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. The group is led by Margery who i ...more
Michelle
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the Me before you Trilogy and loved them. I didn’t know what to expect by The Giver of Stars. I shouldn’t have worried because this such an amazing book. Set in America’s depression and based on true events regarding The Horseback Librarians of Kentucky which was started by Eleanor Roosevelt. Where women enriched people lives by delivering books to all walks of life, to read and educate themselves.
Alice Wright leaves her stuffy life in England and marries American Bennet van Cleve,
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Julie
Apr 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
April 4th 2019: there's a date!
Expected publication: October 8th 2019. I'm very excited about the newest novel by Jojo Moyes!
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
"Kentucky, huh. Most beautiful place on earth, and the most brutal. Sometimes I think God wanted to show us all his ways at once." *

Alice Wright hopes by marrying the handsome American Bennett Van Cleve she will escape her suffocating life in England and begin a true adventure.  Unfortunately she finds that while location and circumstances have changed, life as a newlywed is hardly romantic with an overbearing father-in-law under the same roof.

Alice is quick to sign up to deliver books for the n
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Laura
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Jojo Moyes fan and therefore couldn't wait to read her latest release. This is definitely a big departure from her previous novels; whilst Me Before You and the subsequent books in that series packs a real emotional punch, The Giver of Stars steps back a little from making the reader properly ugly-cry (...just me?), and instead takes the reader back in time to 1930s Eastern Kentucky.

I love the premise of this novel. It focuses on the real-life Horseback Librarians which operated durin
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Denise  Reed
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes, yes, and OH HELL, YES! Hands down, the best historical fiction book I have read this year. There was nothing I didn't love about this book!

I have to begin by saying, I have never read Me Before You (a travesty, I know, but I saw the movie first and didn't love it enough to read the book), so this was my first introduction to Jojo Moyes. I kept seeing my GR friends raving over this book though, and even though the premise didn't initially grab me, I decided to give it a read. Aside: This is
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Karen Whittard
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading about the horseback librarians of the 1930’s. It was something new that I hadn’t heard about before and it was a refreshingly new story about friendship, loyalty, love, commitment, strength, feminism and the love of literature. It was made even better that this was inspired by a true story. Jojo moyes is the master of writing an amazing book. That feels you with warmth, and really makes you care for the characters and their situation and lives. This book is no different ...more
Laura
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com

I'm a huge Jojo Moyes fan and therefore couldn't wait to read her latest release. This is definitely a big departure from her previous novels; whilst Me Before You and the subsequent books in that series packs a real emotional punch, The Giver of Stars steps back a little from making the reader properly ugly-cry (...just me?), and instead takes the reader back in time to 1930s Eastern Kentucky.

I love the premise of this novel. It focuses on the real-life Horse
...more
Natalie Daydream Reader
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Giver of Stars is a depression-era fiction novel depicting the true story of a group of remarkably strong women who ran a travelling library in Kentucky. The women, from different walks of life, shared a common goal of escaping elements of their lives and spreading the joy of new worlds on horseback.

The book is well-researched and insightful set in an interesting period where women were still trying to prove that they’re more than just keepers of the home. The challenges they faced were gri
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Chris Markley
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A celebration of strong women trying to make a life in the world they have been thrown into by men and the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. When Alice meets Bennett Van Cleeve she is entranced and sees marrying him as an escape from the rigid formality of life in England that she doesn't fit in to. But life in Kentucky is not what she imagined and Bennett changes so completely from the charming man in England. Alice finds an escape from the VanCleeve's by joining the Horseback Librarians. Marge ...more
Alysson
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT! Have you ever heard of the Pack Horse Librarians? I actually first learned about this when I was teaching first grade a few years ago. The program delivered books to remote regions in the Appalachian Mountains during the Great Depression.  It was comprised of predominately women and the project reached over 100,000 residents in Kentucky. They believed education to be a way to escape poverty, and so endured some of the harshest conditions in order to help the most needy. S ...more
Emily
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a librarian, I appreciated reading about the Packhorse Librarians standing up to naysayers who wanted to shut down their services. There is a lot going on in this book, including many "life events" and community conflict which I wish had been covered more deeply. I really loved this book and it has inspired me to read something else by the author. Thanks NetGalley for the book in exchange for an honest review.
#TheGiverOfStars #NetGalley
Shannon Dyer
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Round up to 4.5 stars. Spectacular! Review to come at AAR.
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Angela, Diane and Esil discuss 39 20 Oct 08, 2019 05:11AM  
Temecula Valley B...: Sneak Peek at Jojo Moyes' Upcoming Novel 2 25 Apr 03, 2019 12:19AM  
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Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is mar
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“That Mack McGuire, he makes my heart flutter like a clean sheet on a long line.” 0 likes
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