Book review

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Kim Michele Richardson

In a few words

A novel that captures the imagination and the heart — it is based on the Pack Horse Library Project, set up in rural Kentucky during the Great Depression.

Great for

All readers, but particularly those who enjoy historical novels based on true events.

Why I love this book

This book was inspired by two real events: the blue-skinned people who once lived in rural Kentucky; and the Pack Horse Library Project, set up to support isolated and poverty-stricken people in Kentucky.

Our book woman is Cussy Mary Carter, a 19 year old, blue-skinned librarian from Troublesome Creek in Kentucky. She lives with her widowed father and has a job delivering books and other reading material to the isolated people in the Appalachian mountains — from the back of her mule, Junia.

Cussy Mary loves her job and the reader comes to love Cussy Mary as she travels the back roads on Junia, delivering reading material to people with little or no money and very little education. With her blue skin, a rare genetic condition, Cussy faces discrimination and hatred from many people, but she is also loved by the people she helps.

This book has a bit of everything: history, extreme poverty, superstition, bigotry, discrimination, romance, medical testing and the joy of reading. Highly recommended.

My one criticism would be

The book starts slowly and has an abrupt ending, but what’s in-between is really special. It makes the reader appreciate the many things in life that we take for granted.

Barbara Brown


Barbara enjoys character-driven books and the opportunity to learn something; about cultures, countries or history.

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