The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

by Kim Maree Richardson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I came across this book through some GR librarian work I did and was really intrigued by the two inspirations to the author for this work of fiction – The Blue People of Kentucky and the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project. Both are fascinating subjects and Richardson does them justice.

I found travelling librarian Cussy Mary Carter (nicknamed, not always kindly, Bluet) a fascinating subject and loved the careful respect with which she treated her patrons, who in some cases were nearly starving to death! The life of a travelling librarian was certainly hard – they travelled dangerous terrain and most had to hire the horses they used. I can well believe that these women (& they were mostly women) were very dedicated to the idea of bringing literacy to local inhabitants.

The book is very fast paced. I normally don’t like very short chapters, but after the first few they didn’t detract from the story at all. What I loved was the very authentic feeling dialogue.

My only quibbles are that other than Doc most of the characters are a bit one dimensional. Most people in real life aren’t all good or all bad. And almost too much tragedy is piled on in a relatively short book, especially in the closing chapters.

But this book was very easy to read and I do recommend it.

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