Book Reviews

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Back when the pandemic first started, my mom was stranded in south Florida. Travel had stopped, and she, my aunt, and my grandma were all at my grandparents’ house…where there is no WiFi. Needless to say, they were bored. The beer book club I go to all RAVED about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, so I bought it and sent a bit of a care package to the ladies down south. After they read it, the book made its way back to me.

The Story

In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry.

The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government’s new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians in literary novels—a story of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

My Thoughts

I read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek as a bit of a palette cleanser between all of my other YA books and thrillers and suspense that I go for. It certainly was a different book than I usually go for.

This book was a story. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I don’t tend to go for stories. I want war or something I’m trying to solve. Thus, the book moved pretty slowly for me.

I ended up going down a serious rabbit hole reading about the true story of the blue-skinned people of Kentucky. When I started reading the book, I thought it was a bit too…alien…for the style of book, but it turns out it’s a real thing! From what I could find, there were no photos, just paintings and things. Apparently the blue still lives on too!

One of my favorite things about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was the pure love for reading and how it can bring people together. No matter your skin color or your age or where you come from, books bring us together! Seriously, how beautiful is that.

I also really loved most of the ending. I don’t want to give away too much, so it’s tough for me to go into too many details. However, there was such a high at the end that came crashing down. It really put a damper on the book for me. When I read a story, I want a solid ending.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good story, I would recommend The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek! It was a solid 4 star read for me.

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