The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
By: Kim Michele Richardson
I received an ARC of this one from Netgalley but it’s long since out and I am just catching up. I think I’d best describe this as a slice of life about a Pack Horse Librarian in 1930’s era Kentucky Mountains.
So it’s not the easiest of lives nor is her mission to deliver books to her patrons deep in the exceedingly poor mountain areas.
Also, she’s blue.
When I requested this it was the books that immediately interested me. To be honest I didn’t even know the blueness was an actual condition.I hadn’t heard of the Pack Horse Librarians either- so learned a couple of new things with this read!
Question if the girl on the cover had blue hands and arms would that make you more likely to pick up the book? I think it would have been more eye-catching to me. Also it kind of threw me off when I first realized she was blue I looked back like… eh, where?
Anyway we follow Cussy along as she tries to care for her miner father and her patrons. It’s not the easiest read as there are starving children to deal with, rape, assault, suicide and racism is rampant.
But I think maybe it was a little too life like in that it meanders a bit and I could never quiet engage with Cussy’s story. There’s good scenes murder, blackmail and probably more death any one should see but we move so fast it feels like oh just another day. Nothing really sticks to have meaning. Cussy is wildly noble and exceedingly put upon which also gets a bit tiring as a reader.
The medical tests are interesting but they just trail off. There’s a big showdown at the end that could have lead to something but we just jump ahead and nothing happens there either. Perhaps the idea is very life like but doesn’t make for an intriguing read. That’s the best way I can describe it when I was reading it the book was fine but when I wasn’t I didn’t have any real desire to pick it back up. It took me almost a month to finish and it really shouldn’t have.
I did like the power of reading element. That Cussy knew the joy that the books and magazines brought to people’s lives so she kept up her route despite the racism and danger to herself.
The important power of stories indeed.
Recommend: 50-50. Mostly it wasn’t for me. If you do decide to read keep in mind the trigger warnings for rape and assault.