The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Not long ago I had several friends tag me on Facebook in a post about the Kentucky Pack Horse library service. I loved seeing that photo of the 1930s librarians on horse or mule-back ready to deliver books to the people of Appalachia. When I saw The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was releasing, I knew I had to read it.

Richardson centers the story around a fictional character named Cussy Mary who works for the Pack Horse service. She is a single woman, a requirement at the time the service got started, and a descendant of the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this book. Not only is it a well-crafted story, it is also well-researched. On her delivery route, Cussy Mary develops strong ties with her patrons. You will find yourself becoming attached to the likes of young Henry, Angeline and Jackson Lovett among others.

As you can imagine, the blue-skinned people were not treated well by Kentucky society. Cussy Mary suffers many of the prejudices that were all too common in her time. She often fears for her life and endures horrors that are hard to read. But Cussy Mary has a strong spirit, impenetrable courage, and a firm belief in the power of the written word. Her story is one of redemption.

~ Leslie M.