General Rating: Excellent writing and character development. I even loved the mule, Junia, named for the lone female apostle. (Google to verify.) This novel reminded me of The Whip, only I enjoyed it much more.
Skip factor: Nothing.
Who should read: If you like fabulous writing about simple people but with deep meaning, you’ll love this one.
Summary: It’s the story of a blue girl from Kentucky. (There truly was a blue family in Troublesome, Kentucky, and other blues have been identified in other places on occasion. Methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder, causes the blue-tinged skin.) Cussy Mary or Bluet or Book Woman, as she’s sometimes called, takes a job in the Pack Horse Library Project distributing books to poor Kentucky families in the wilderness.
Every night her father lit a courting candle, hoping to find a husband for her, but Cussy Mary wanted nothing to do with marriage as a married woman wasn’t allowed to work for the Library Project.
The novel follows her hard life as she distributes books to the impoverished of the backwoods. She lives to deliver her books to her patrons.
Characters: Great character development. The interaction between Cussy Mary and her dad, along with her relationship with her clients—especially Angeline and Henry—captured my heart.
Storyline: I had not heard of the Pack Horse Library Project before reading this novel. Although fiction, this story reads like non-fiction and is completely believable and realistic. The storyline follows the undulating life of the pack-mule librarian, but the way the author tells the story, how she sees the book woman’s simple life, will capture a reader’s heart.
Writing: The writing is tremendous. No more need be said.
Read this author again? Absolutely.
CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller, Dream Wide Awake, and Project Dream, two thrillers that carry a sixth-sense paranormal element, and two ChickLit novels Friends Who Move Couches and Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House. Many of her novels were inspired by Zahner’s own experiences. See the video of her own paranormal experience, a premonition of 9/11 here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon.