The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes #TheGiverofStars @jojomoyes @PenguinUKBooks @justjuliawhelan #AudioBook #BookReview

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Originally published: Oct 2019 (This edition Jul 2020)

Author: Jojo Moyes

Published by: Penguin UK

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 13 Hours 52 Minutes

Reading dates: 12-25 January 2023

The greatest love story is the one you least expect…

Alice is stifled, bored, and misunderstood.

So when she meets wealthy and handsome American, Bennett Van Cleve, she is quickly swept off her feet.

Marrying him and moving to America seems like a great adventure – but life as a newlywed in stuffy Baileyville, Kentucky, is not at all what she hoped for.

Until, that is, she responds to a call for volunteers to start a travelling library, surprising herself by saying yes, before her husband can say no…

Led by feisty and rebellious Margery O’Hare, this unlikely group of women travel far and wide on their mission to bring books and reading to those that need it.

Finally, Alice finds the freedom, friendship and love that she’s been looking for.

But not everyone approves of what they are doing, especially her new father-in-law. And when the town turns against them, will their belief in each other and their work be enough?

I’m taking part in a challenge over on Instagram to read some of my “neglected faithfuls” – books by authors I have read and enjoyed before but whose books are now languishing on my shelves. I had two books by Jojo Moyes on my TBR and I enjoyed the Me Before You books so chose The Giver of Stars as my January choice.

Alice Wright is bored in her life as a lady in England so when she meets handsome successful American Bennett Van Cleve she falls hard and is swiftly married and travels with him to America expecting a life of excitement and glamour. But before long, she realises her life in the small town of Baileyville, Kentucky is not as she’d hoped. She is an unwelcome outsider, not fitting in with the other women and is bored.

When Mrs Brady announces an initiative to set up a travelling library, Alice volunteers despite having no experience of horse riding. She finds herself working with plain talking Margery O’Hare and soon comes to love the challenge of traversing the mountains, and persuading the often suspicious mountain folk about the value of the books and the service.

Meanwhile, Alice’s marriage isn’t what she expected. They live with Bennett’s father and rarely have time alone and their marriage is not the romantic, loving relationship she hoped for.

I listened to The Giver of Stars which was narrated by the brilliant Julia Whelan who brought life to all the characters in the book! I loved the relationship between the women and the friendship that develops between them – they soon learn to depend on each other and they all come to each others aid at various times throughout the book. Despite the story taking part over a relatively short period of time it felt like a truly epic read.

The Pack Horse Library Project was a real initiative in which books were delivered to remote regions between 1935 and 1943 and being a lover of books and a librarian myself I loved this idea. As well as books, the women supported the mountain folk, and were a life line for many.

An absolutely brilliant read, I absolutely loved this and enjoyed every second of my dog walks immersed in this story.

About the author:

Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and journalist. Her books include the bestsellers Me Before You, After You and Still Me, The Girl You Left Behind, The One Plus One and her short story collection Paris for One and Other Stories. The Giver of Stars is her most recent bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick. Her novels have been translated into forty-six languages, have hit the number one spot in twelve countries and have sold over thirty-eight million copies worldwide.

Me Before You has now sold over fourteen million copies worldwide and was adapted into a major film starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. Jojo lives in Essex with her family.


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