The Book Women of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Brenda’s review

Kim Michele Richardson brings us a unique, fascinating, impressive, unforgettable story here that explores a part of history in Kentucky that is not well known or forgotten. She weaves some history along with fiction to create a vivid and strong sense of place and time here with the “Blue People” and the Pack Horse Library Project. She creates a strong, dedicated, brave and memorable character Cussy Mary know as The Book Women or Bluet

Cussy Mary is the last living “blue people” who works as a traveling librarian in 1930 Appalcahis. She brings joy with books, medicine, messages and hope to people when times are heartbreaking tough. She travels with her mule Junia who becomes a strong and interesting character and she really pops out of the pages. I enjoyed the relationships that Cussy builts are she travels her route. My heart went out to the people and I felt the power of words with each. 

The story also explores the racial intolerance of a society who feel threatened by the things they don’t understand. The prejudice and racism stirred up some strong emotions for me and again I found myself yelling at the characters. As upsetting as it was Cussy Mary has an engaging strong voice and through her it was easy to connect with her. I felt for her and could see the person who she was under her blue skin. I highly recommend.

Norma’s review

Fascinating, powerful, and moving!

THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK by KIM MICHELE RICHARDSON is an interesting, heartfelt, beautiful, and informative story that is packed full of well-researched historical content that I personally never knew about before.  Although this story depicts place, people, and time extremely well it had me curious to pop onto the internet numerous times to do a little bit of searching of my own. I had no clue about the “blue people” of Kentucky and the Pack Horse Library Project.

KIM MICHELLE RICHARDSON delivers an original, bold, entertaining and well-written read here that has us following right alongside Cussy Mary as she delivers much-loved books to her patrons. Cussy Mary, also known as Bluet and the Book Woman was such a caring, selfless, strong, and brave character.  Some of the scenes in this book were extremely hard to take and so hard to believe that people were treated the way they were for being a different colour. Just about broke my heart!

The story in itself was extremely enlightening and comes with a powerful message but I would have enjoyed it a little bit more if it had a different ending.  There was so much heartbreak that gave me a heavy heart and I needed an uplifting and happy ending to totally satisfy me.  

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Totally fascinated by the cover which definitely enticed me to pick up this book. I absolutely love the beautiful old-fashioned, country feel to the cover and it is such a meaningful and effective representation to storyline. 
Title: Enticing, intriguing, appealing, and such a meaningful representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, and engaging. 
Plot: Engrossing, interesting, heartfelt, moving, powerful, thought-provoking, fascinating, well-researched, enlightening, steady-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: A traumatic and dramatic end that left me a little bit spent and unsatisfied. Although I do believe that it was a realistic and historically correct end though.
Overall: Even though I was a little bit disappointed in the end it was still an extremely worthwhile, entertaining, and unforgettable read. Would recommend!

2 thoughts on “The Book Women of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson”

    1. I had a different cover too and didn’t even realize there was another version until Brenda took this pic. We are really looking forward to the discussion too and think it should be a really good one. 🙂

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