Alice Wright impulsively marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve in hope of escaping her incredibly boring and stifling life in Depression-era England. But post-marriage in smalltown Kentucky is not the all-day Derby and soirees she was expecting. She is left by her work-obsessed husband in a giant house all day with only her domineering father-in-law for company. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of a travelling horseback library, Alice laps up the opportunity in a heartbeat.
Leader and soon Alice’s strongest ally is Margery O’Hare, the daughter of a notorious town felon. Her mission is to spread the wonder of books to the poor and lost. She, along with Alice and three other women take up the punishing weather and treacherous mountain terrains to share their love for reading (and learning) to book-starved children and residents. But it is not geography alone that poses a challenge to the enthusiastic bunch of five women. Affluent men of Kentucky are certain the young group is spreading pro-communist messages along with their copies of Little Women. They also seem to have a problem with their employing a black woman, influencing teenage minds and teaching women about intimacy through a secret novel of Married Love. But the town of Kentucky has forgotten that they are not just fighting an illegitimate ‘library’ but an entity very few other things can power up to: female friendship.
Based on a true story of the Pack Horse Library initiative – a project that ran from 1935 to 1943, The Giver of Stars will you take you on an exhilarating journey of the eastern Kentucky mountains with evocative descriptions of the landscapes routinely peppered with observant truths on poverty, race and class distinctions and of course, the gift that is girlfriends!
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