Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Carry the World” as Want to Read:
Carry the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Carry the World

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Eastern Kentucky, 1937.

After the death of her husband, Ada Donovan returned home to live again with her aging parents. She does all she can to help them keep the small family farm going. But times are hard, and there’s never enough.

During one of her infrequent visits to town, she sees a help-wanted notice for the Pack Horse Librarian Project, seeking librarians to ride up
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 4th 2019
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Carry the World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Carry the World

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  403 ratings  ·  97 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Carry the World
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Now available in audiobook version! (10/15/2019)


I've had the pleasure to both read this book and listen to it, and I have to say either way it's one of the best books I've read.

“The Pack Horse Library Project was a Works Progress Administration program that delivered books to remote regions in the Appalachian Mountains between 1935 and 1943. Women were very involved in the project which eventually had 30 different libraries serving 100,000 people.”

Carry the World is set
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This is a beautiful book. 1930s/ Depression-era Appalachians. A lonely widower lives isolated up in the mountains, bringing up his two young children. A lonely widow takes a government job as a travelling librarian who visits remote communities (on horseback) every two weeks with a new batch of books. And over time, they fall for each other. The kids, too. BTW, this was based on a historically real initiative, the 'packhorse librarians' as they were sometimes referred to.

It's a slow-b
Aisling Zena
May 05, 2019 marked it as maybe
I'm considering reading this as it's a standalone and she wont mess with the eventual HEA..
Maybe.. I hope? I'm gonna need spoilers. I'm too scared to go into it without any..

Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Susan Fanetti Fans, Romance
5 The Simple Truth Stars
* * * * * Spoiler Free
Many years ago when I had my first child, I would watch him play on the rug before me and take a moment to read. As he grew with me reading to him, he was always interested in what was coming next. I would say to him, "Reading opens up a whole new world ", and over time that would be our catch phrase when we sat side by side reading on the couch. Now I am reading to my new granddaughter and my son looks at us and tells her even though she is much too
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5. Beautiful and nuanced story telling by this new to me author. Fascinating setting in mountainous Kentucky in the late 1930s featuring Ada, a young widow trying to support her elderly parents and herself by taking on the challenging role of pack horse librarian, carrying the written word and the world to remote homesteads high up in the mountains. It takes a mountain person herself to try to forge a connection with these isolated and occasionally hostile mountain folks - some are there bec ...more
Really excellent historical romance set in 1930-1940's Appalachia. The heroine is a Kentucky packhorse librarian taking books to the hills and hollers of the backcountry and the story is about what she finds when she gets there.

This one was very well done and SF brought to life a very specific era in a really remarkable way. The story is a romance, but it is also a tribute to the teachers of the world, who manage to instill and kindle the flame of learning no matter the circumstances, in the ver
**Carry the World generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

5+ ”Carrying the world to them.” Stars

This newest, stand alone, historical romance from Susan Fanetti made me cry big, fat, ugly, happy tears. It’s so wistful in its unique account of one woman’s compassionate fight to educate the world through companionship, kindness, and care. And how that fight leads her to the biggest fight of all in her life – earning the love, respect, and trust from people for whom she comes to care
Kim Bailey
UPDATE: I finally have a moment to write about the audiobook. I can't remember exactly when I finished it, but I have to say ... second time around and this story is just as compelling. The narration is INCREDIBLE. Easily my favorite book of 2019.

First Read:
Susan Fanetti has delivered another rich and compelling story that enthralled me from start to finish. Such a lovely and heartwarming story, I can even forgive Susan for making me cry. Again. Truthfully, I not only expect but look forward to
Vicki Rossiter
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read a book a day, always rate them with stars and sometimes as awkward as I feel I write a review. If a book is great I feel compelled to. Carry The World was on such another level I literally wrote my review on paper first. This was an outstanding beautiful read. I was on this dreary Sunday day transported literally into another world, immersed into a beautiful unique love story. Ada and Jonah's journey was incredible and captivatin
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book by Fanetti and it only came to my attention because of two Goodreads friends who recommended it highly. Since finishing it, I've checked out Fanetti's author page on Amazon and discovered that she's a bit of an eclectic writer. Her books range from biker romances to Mafia family stories to a contemporary series about people in a small town in Idaho to a series about long-ago Norsemen/Vikings to a Victorian historical tale about an American tycoon and an English woman of the ...more
5 "Carry the World" Stars!!

I absolutely loved this story. It was so beautiful. Certainly heartbreaking at times; and I even got a little teary eyed but mostly, this was such a hopeful read. Ada, Jonah, Elijah and Bluebird have a beautiful story. Happy reading!!
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is definitely a top read of the year. I don’t know if I have the right words to describe my feelings about this book. The writing was terrific. I was sucked in and could not stop reading. I loved everything about it - ada, Jonah, the children, the setting, the librarian angle, the supporting characters. This was a slow burn romance and an absolutely beautiful love story which grows in hard circumstances. Not only that, but the sense of community and neighbors helping neighbors in this ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5++++stars. Simply fantastic!
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
4,5 stars
“We are bringing more than books to these people, Mrs. Donovan. We are carrying the world to them.”

I chose to read Carry the World after that I reviewed The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes and my friend Amy told me that Susan Fanetti had written something on the same topic earlier this year.
Not two days after, I discovered the controversy around Jojo's book and I wanted to make up my own mind about the plagiarism accusation.
I decided to read all three books publishe
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was JUST. THE. BEST!!!
I loved it from start to finish.
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you come across a book that feels like it was written just for you. It sucks you in from page one and never lets go. Carry the World is that book for me. Just perfect in every way.
Susan W
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pov-both, 2020
Still love this author’s writing. Just wasn't a fan of the time period and location. Enjoyed the couple.
Catherine Johnson
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A love for the ages

This really is the most beautiful story. The sheer amount of love within it brings me to tears every time I read it.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully written story, nuanced and well fleshed out. I can't believe this is the same author that wrote MC books also. Kudos to her because she completely submerged the reader in this era and genre.

It is set in Kentucky in the late 1930s, the heroine is a Kentucky pack-horse librarian who comes across the hero ( a widower) and his two children.

The first 25% is leading up to the heroine getting the job and circumstances that lead her to look for work. I was just greedy to see the
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
 photo PicsArt_05-13-12.22.28_zps1atb7qan.jpg

A heartwarming, heartfelt read.I felt very happy and content at the end.

The story that just kept on giving.

Ada and Jonah were utter perfection.

Those kids, Bluebird and Elijah, were an absolute delight. I found myself smiling every time they made an appearance.

The writing, as always - EVERYTHING.


 photo PicsArt_05-13-06.22.45_zpsxsj0rgzj.jpg

 photo PicsArt_05-13-06.42.31_zpsiczf6y1h.jpg

 photo PicsArt_05-13-07.16.59_zpsqhdsahse.jpg

*Teasers made with purchased pics, and the author's words.
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Oh the feels! What a beautiful story of loss, love, perseverance, hope. This one certainly lives up to the hype. Highly recommended!
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shiny-and-new
4-1/2 *'s for me. Very nicely done.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Carry the World was a beautiful story about a lonely widower up in the mountains of Kentucky during the depression taking care of his two young children and a widow taking care of her aligning parents in need of an income. Ada is a young educated woman that use to be a teacher who takes a job as a Pack Horse Librarian in 1937 Kentucky. Along her route she becomes a bright light in so many lives but nothing would compare to how she changes the Walkers. Jonah is a heart broken man barely living af ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh this book...

I’m beyond sad it’s over. I’m not usually this bummed when I finish a fiction book and realize that the characters in it weren’t real, but in this case, it’s hard for me to believe because they felt so real to me as I was reading it, and I totally fell in love with these characters. Such a beautiful and moving story - so many aspects of it touched me, and I know this will be one of those stories that sticks with me for the longest time.

I can’t tell you how highly I recommend it to
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
A different style of book for Susan Fanetti but still has her trademark knack of really getting inside her characters and writing beautifully the most heart felt emotions. Just a lovely story.

4.5 stars
Michelle [Helen Geek]
March 2020 -- 5 Stars

A perfect book for these trying times. I just loved it. My mother was a coal owners daughter and i have other relatives from Arkansas. They talk about the hard lives they've e,experienced living as children in the mountains. They appreciated the simpler things in life. How a simple fever could kill. We really take things for granted. A lovely story.

Happy Reading!
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
**re-read 08/11/2020 via Audible & Audiobook Boom**
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Carry the World will always share a special place in my heart because it was my first Historical Romance but what I did not anticipate was to love this story even more!! The audio version gave the characters more depth, heart and it was as if I could feel the love, they shared through the narrators voice. Still 5+ stars easy!!

**Original review 07/24
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, delightful, poignant and inspiring read!
This is a story about second chance in life to live, to love, to be cherished.
This was a new author for me and I'll read her others books, I loved her writing style, her words, development of this story.
It's a historical romance, slow burn (first kiss on 64% of the book). It's about harsh, hard life in Appalachian mountains in 1930es, women after marriage prohibited to work as a teachers, how was this life!!!
I loved both main characters: the her
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This really is good. I've been sick, so reading A LOT, and this was so good I read straight through. The history told here was fascinating, I had never heard of the pack horse librarian project. I'm assuming it was part of Roosevelts New Deal, but that's just a guess. This time in our history is hard and it's hard to read about, much less read about a romance that blossomed during the Great Depression. Susan Fanetti pulled it off in a big way. It's slow burn, painful and beautiful all at the
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed spending time with these characters. Like with so many good stories I was in a rush to read to the end and then disappointed when I got there because it meant the glimpse into these characters lives was over. I typically don’t take the time to invest in slow burn romances but the quality of Fanetti’s writing had me before I knew it. A wonderful romance .
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Dust and the Roar (Legends of Meager, #1)
  • Savaged
  • Lone Star (Dartmoor #7)
  • Dragon Slayer (Sons of Rome Book 3)
  • Better Than This: A Nine Minutes Spin-Off Novel
  • Beyond the Sea
  • The Island
  • Golden Eagle (Sons of Rome Book 4)
  • Final Serenade (The Encore, #1)
  • One Last Verse (The Encore, #2)
  • Homecoming (Dartmoor, #8)
  • Where the Blame Lies (Where, #1)
  • Prodigal Son (Lean Dogs Legacy #3)
  • Moti on the Water
  • Quiet Man (Dream #0.5; Dream Man #4.5)
  • The Slow Burn (Moonlight and Motor Oil, #2)
  • A Five-Minute Life
  • Tastes Like Candy (Lean Dogs Legacy, #2)
See similar books…
I was born and raised in the Midwest, but I was transplanted into the dusty soil of Northern California and have apparently taken root there. An inveterate geek and gamer, I am a fan of many things considered pop culture and maybe even lowbrow.

As a reader, my favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, but as a writer, I've found my home in romance--or perhaps it's better to say simply "love

News & Interviews

Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
89 likes · 16 comments