Thursday 24 October 2019

Review: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

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, and Alice finally 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?


Review: I decided to read this novel on audiobook and I am glad  that I did because this books takes place in Kentucky but with an English main character and the narration really brought this alive, the contrast between the accents and the contrast between Alice's way of life before and after her move to Kentucky. 

This book is very much a plot driven book and so even though Alice is the main character and the person that we get to see the story unfold with, this book is about the whole community and it is also about the magic of libraries and the librarians who share their love of books with the people in that community. I love that this is such a love letter to books. It is just so wonderful to see on the page the power that books can have in so many different ways for so many different people. I loved seeing these librarians overcome the obstacles that they have to face and seeing them sharing their passion through the snow and the blistering heat and that was my takeaway from this novel, books are magic, libraries are the keepers of the spells. 

Alice was an interesting character to spend time with over the course of this novel. She has string beliefs but she has been held down by the men around her her entire life and so when she begins to be able to show her strength it is a truly magical thing. She is appropriately surprised by the people and the way of life she finds out in small town Kentucky, as she would have been in the days before Wifi and YouTube. I loved the way she grows over the course of the book and I love the community that she finds with the people surrounding the library. 

There are some care warnings that come with this book for domestic abuse definitely so just be aware of that when picking this one up. I felt like it was dealt with really well as part of the story and felt that it was fully explored in the context of the society and the time and so to me it just felt like part of the plot and part of showing the importance of having that community behind you. 

I really enjoyed this novel, I really recommend the audiobook but highly recommend the book as a whole. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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