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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson
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58-- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek a novel, by Kim Michele Richardson (read 26 Mar 2023) This is fiction involving blue-skinned people in Kentucky, laid in 1936, and I found I was eager to read it, even though it is sad reading at times, since so many of the characters are unlikeable people, though the book woman is so good. She has a mule and uses it to deliver reading material to people who are eager to get the books and other reading material she delivers under a WPA program. She ends up with a good man as a husband and a baby left to her by a book customer who died the day she had the baby, her husband having committed suicide when he found out the baby was a blue baby. The good people in the book are so good and mean people are so mean, but it all is meaningful and i really liked the story ( )
Good story with lots of interesting, historical information.
UPDATE: After thinking about the book for few days, I’m less impressed. After all the details covering a few months, the last chapter wraps up 4 years in a couple of pages. Those 4 years must have had many troubles and difficulties. Writing so many details about so many characters, her work and societal issues was enlightening but the overall feel is disappointing.
Within the first few paragraphs, I started to think this book might be science-fiction, which isn't always my thing. I was rolling my eyes at the notion of blue-skinned people, until I learned that this story is based in historical facts! What?!
So, it turns out, it was an engaging (not perfect!) historical novel. I'm bummed about the goodreads "popular answered question" that gave away the (not entirely surprising, but, still!) ending.
The little details show the research the author did to bring the story to life. It’s such a small detail, but I wonder if those license plate bookends exist.
A deeper issue that I couldn't find was if people with methemoglobinemia were actually considered non-white. I felt that made the book a little problematic. It did make it less so because hey racism is deep-seated hatred that doesn't change overnight. It's still weird a magic pill suddenly made her white.
This was a beautiful book with tragic blow after another. Definitely left me needing some quiet time for reflection.
Richardson has penned an emotionally moving and fascinating story about the power of literacy over bigotry, hatred and fear.
Richardson, a master of phrase, cadence, and imagery, once again delivers a powerful yet heartfelt story that gives readers a privileged glimpse into an impoverished yet rigidly hierarchical society, this time by shining a light on the courageous, dedicated women who brought books and hope to those struggling to survive on its lowest rung. Strongly recommended.
Kim Michele Richardson’s presentation of her protagonist’s challenges and perseverance within a culture hostile to deviation from norms is a significant accomplishment. Equally valuable is her reminder of the priceless necessity, the enduring thrill, of books and reading.
Cussy's first-person narrative voice is engaging, laced with a thick Kentucky accent and colloquialisms of Depression-era Appalachia. Through the bigotry and discrimination Cussy suffers as a result of her skin color, the author artfully depicts the insidious behavior that can result when a society’s members feel threatened by things they don't understand. With a focus on the personal joy and broadened horizons that can result from access to reading material, this well-researched tale serves as a solid history lesson on 1930s Kentucky. A unique story about Appalachia and the healing power of the written word.
This gem of a historical from Richardson (The Sisters of Glass Ferry) features an indomitable heroine navigating a community steeped in racial intolerance.... Though the ending is abrupt and some historical information feels clumsily inserted, readers will adore the memorable Cussy and appreciate Richardson’s fine rendering of rural Kentucky life.
"Cussy Mary Carter is the last of her kind, her skin the color of a blue damselfly in these dusty hills. But that doesn't mean she's got nothing to offer. As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's determination to bring a little bit of hope to the darkly hollers"--
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century