Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. Her novels include, Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Sisters of Glass Ferry. Kim Michele currently finished her fourth novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek about the fierce and brave Kentucky Packhorse librarians. Coming May 7, 2019.
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
Courage. Perseverance. Bigotry. Dedication. Love. This novel will make you “sit up and think!” This is the story of the librarians known as “Book Women” during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration ( WPA) . These women, and a few men, traveled by horse, mule, boat, or even by foot to reach their devoted patrons in the woods, coves, and up the creeks of Kentucky. The Pack Horse librarians were paid $28 a month and depended on donations for books, magazines, and newspapers for their deliveries.
Cussy Mary Carter, the Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, is one of the Blue People of Kentucky. She lives with her father who works in the coal mines. Cussy Mary’s dad tells her she is the last of the blue mountainfolk. Any emotion turns her skin “as blue as the familiar bluet damselfly skimming Kentucky creek beds,” so the doctor has nicknamed her Bluet.
All the book lovers who have ever tried so hard to find a book to match a reader’s interests will identify with Cussy Mary and her absolute determination to find the perfect “read” for each of her patrons. This reader was enthralled by Cussy Mary’s courage to endure persecution and bigotry as she carries on with her deliveries; overcoming physical attacks, weather related storms and those human ones caused by fellow mountainfolk due to her color. Do the doctors find a cure for her color through their experiments at Saint Joseph Hospital? Will that really bring her happiness and a marriage? You’ll find yourself loving, hating-crying, cheering- all at the same time. Do yourself a favor and put The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek on your “to be read list.” You’ll thank librarians everywhere!