The Giver of Stars: A Novel

Written by:
Jojo Moyes
Narrated by:
Julia Whelan

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
1227
Narrator
335
Release Date
October 2019
Duration
13 hours 53 minutes
Summary
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER |  A REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK

“A great narrative about personal strength and really captures how books bring communities together.” —Reese Witherspoon

From the author of The Last Letter from Your Lover, now a major motion picture on Netflix, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond in Depression-era America


Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve, hoping to escape her stifling life in England.  But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. 

What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity, and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic--a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.
Reviews
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Sharon H.

wonderful read, story kept the reader wanting more.

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Ruth S.

A great read. These gals were spectacular! The story line kept you moving on. I loved the end!

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Anonymous

I loved this story & wished it could go on forever. The narration was UNBELIEVABLE! She embodied every character so thoroughly that I think she should receive the highest honor or award for narration.

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Trish25

Awesome read!! The story line is fantastic and keeps you engaged, wanting to know what is happening next!!!

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Joy C.

LOVED this book!!! Fascinating story line, and the narrator was amazing!

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Anonymous

It was okay. Nothing overly exciting; sloooow build. To me it felt a bit like ‘Where the crawdads sing’ meets ‘The Great Alone’ (with a library setting). The narration was terrific!

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Anonymous

More than half this book was slow and boring. I get she wants to develop these characters but it went on too long. I barely made it thru to the interesting parts and even then it wasn't that Intersting.

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Elizabeth D.

Fairly predictable and a bit melodramatic.

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Rita

A beautifully written novel. All the women became my heroes.

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Linda D.

I’m not quite sure what the title has to do with the content of the book but that’s what made me buy it. The book itself is an easy read/listen and I enjoyed it. So much of our history is left untold because certain men saw no need to tell the contributions of women. In this story there are very good men and some not so good men. I’d give the book itself a 4 star rating just because it was written well and it was enjoyable.

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Ivie A.

just not as good as I expected. went on too long

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Ana

If I could give Julia Whelan 6 Stars for this narration I would, enjoyed it very much. Great novel.

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Rita

I loved this book. there are lots of turns and twists and i never wanted it to end. i loved the strong women characters. However I cannot rate this book without mentioning the narrator. It is she who makes this book even more interesting. like characters in a play she perfectly portrayed each one with their own personality. This was one of the most enjoyable narrators i’ve ever listened to. Thanks for an amazing production

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Christine C.

Great book! Starts slow but engrossing mid way to the end.

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Noelle C.

the narrator was excellent. she seamlessly transitioned between voices

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Katherine D.

I loved this book. Jojo Moyes has a very fluid style and her writing flows easily. At the same time, there are a lot of twists and turns in the story that keep you on the edge of your seat yearning for more.

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Amber F.

I loved the story and the narration was awesome! The reading can make or break an audiobook in my opinion, I want more like this!

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Emma B.

Wonderful and captivating story!

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Tonatzin R.

It was okay. I enjoyed women’s relationships and how they developed. Narrator did a good job. In the novel, there were several errors with Moyes’ descriptions of Kentucky (where I grew up) and the time frame in which the women traveled by horse was inaccurate. Disappointing ending. Felt like the story switched to a romance novel with a clipped Hollywood ending.

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Robyn C

I was absolutely enraptured with this read and also cried more than once. Beautifully written. I loved the characters and was sad to see the story end.

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Diane G.

I loved it !!!

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Anonymous

Good character development. Enjoyed the history lesson. Strong female characters.

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Dawn V.

LOVED THIS BOOK!

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Renae A.

Good character development

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Kelly N.

I love it!

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Anonymous

Good read great info about eastern kentucky

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Mary B.

I so loved this book and was sad when it ended

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Anonymous

Awesome storyline. Amazing narrator!

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Chribarn

Touching characters so well mingled in to the history lesson that you forget it is history at all. Moyes’ characters always feel so real to me. Narration was great. I highly recommend this one!

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Leslie O.

Excellent story, wonderful narration. A story about friendship, being yourself, true courage, and love. I fell in love with the characters and didn't want the story to end.

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Kathryn T.

I didn't want it to end, such an amazing story of women finding their way.

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Glenda E.

A very good book

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Anonymous

The audible book was a great listen - easy to follow while driving or walking or working around the house. The storyline was excellent although the ending was a little too tidy (but the book was so enjoyable, it was easy to overlook). Julia Whelan is a fabulous narrator and enjoyed listening to her character voices.

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Shandar M.

A wonderful story ! Loved it

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Marchell I.

What a wonderful book, loved the characters. I didn’t want it to end left me wanting more.

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Laurie S.

The narrator did a fantastic job creating a distinct voice for each character, and a personality behind that voice. Well done! Gripping story that is probably, unfortunately, not far from truth. Thank goodness for the sweet ending.

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Rissaswim

Loved this book!!

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Anonymous

A beautiful story. Kept me interested the entire time.

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Corene P.

This book instantly joined my favorite books list. Such a great historical fiction that addresses many relevant issues of the times and today. Captivating characters and a plot that keeps you interested.

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Joan W.

Loved it, and her other books

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Kay B.

What agreT noon. My husband and I listened to it as we drove from Texas to North Carolina and back. We both loved it. Great story.

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LisaAT

This is an excellent book of women that become the best of friends! The narrator was amazing and the storyline ended with me wanting a sequel!!! ... I’m waiting!!

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Anonymous

Loved the story

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Anonymous

Love love love this book

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Dawn M.

Easy listening. Interesting story with strong female leads. Story line is predictable, but still entertaining.

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Debra B.

Good listen and narration was amazing.

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Tanya Dennings

**** SPOILERS**** Not my usual read. I love fantasy & scifi. I joined a book club to diversify my reading and so here we are now. And I absolutely LOVE this story. I love the camaraderie of the women, how strong they are, how they support and love each other. I love the romances, so sweet and true. Made my heart race when Margie was arrested for murder and then she had her baby in prison and tried to send Sven away to raise the baby alone. Oh, my heart! I'm still not sure who really killed that guy ...hmmm. And the whole thing about Alice not consummating her marriage to Bennett, hahaha, WOW! I did not see that coming, but so happy it did. Fred knows his law! Overall, this was such a happy and uplifting story and I'm so glad I got to read it.

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Jane A.

I absolutely loved this book. As an independent horse women, I could really relate to it.

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Kim R.

So boring!!! Couldn’t make it all the way through.

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Faye N.

I absolutely loved this book!!! Almost cried when it was over. The narration was fabulous and characters came to life. Just about ready to start it all over again. Beautiful, just beautiful.

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Whittney L.

One of my all time favorite novels. Brought me to tears a number of times. Vivid imagery, dynamic characters and relationships, she really takes you there.

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Dan M.

I love reading books based in historical settings especially when there is an element a facts. This one is just that with interesting characters and a good story line.

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David S.

Awesome book.....

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Lara P.

I loved this book; I’ve recommended it to all who will listen, and chase those who act deaf! The story is compelling and heartwarming; the narration was so engaging and charming! Queue it up!

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Lesley T.

I absolutely loved Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes. And the narrator was wonderful and captured every character with her voice.

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Diana H.

Great story telling. Inspiring strong women as part of history I have little exposure to. While a little melodramatic, I loved every minute and couldn’t stop listening. Kudos also to the narrator, who switched seamlessly from one character to another. Movie maybe?

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Kristen N.

This is a great story. If you have ever loved a book so much that you wish the world had to read it, this is the book for you. Fantastic narration and great characters make this touching story a 5 star.

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Anonymous

I loved every page of this book! The character’s are so deeply developed and very lovely women. I usually don’t read books twice, but I will this book!

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Frank U.

Liked it very interesting

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Melissa M.

Pretty good kept me on the edge

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Anonymous

I liked it a lot.

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Roman M.

Loved it!

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Lori S.

I enjoyed the story. Well written.

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Deborah C.

I it was a good story and interesting characters with a bit of history. I’m not particularly a fan of romance novels which I would say is the main genre, it was a selection of my bookclub. I found it lacking in authenticity regarding the mountain/country folk in the story narrative and the narrator. The perspective/narration is In third person. I’m from Western KY and learned about the WPA Pack Horse Library for the first time when I read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson and read by Katie Schorr. I found it to be much more interesting with historical details, (especially learning about the Blue colored people in addition to the WPA Library women) and authentic in the narrative and the narrator. It is classified as Historical Fiction without the Romance designation. It does however have interesting, loving relationships. I also preferred its first person perspective/narration and rated it 5 stars for the story and narrator.

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Anonymous

Good book, I was never bored and found the characters interested and believable.

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Loren B.

This is one of my favorite books in a long time! Loved the writing. Very descriptive and easy to read. The characters in this book were so special I truly did not want it to end!! I loved the well developed strong female roles portrayed. I highly recommend it!

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Pamela M.

Enjoyed! Would recommend!

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Chelsea M.

This was a great historical fiction piece. Great development of strong female characters. The story was enrapturing and I couldn’t stop listening. Great narrator.

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Tricia D.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend it.

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Amanda K.

Such a wonderful book.

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Kerrie R.

Wonderfully narrated!

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Trent J.

My wife and I so enjoyed this book.

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Anonymous

This was an amazing book full of the most wonderful characters so thoughtfully developed, you feel like you know each of them

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Julia H.

Entertaining and fun to listen to.

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Bridgett O.

LOVE THIS BOOK!!! The voices and timing and setting and everything!! Thank you!! :)

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Sandra H.

It was a wonderful book about difficulties and triumphs in Appalachia.

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Anonymous

Good read entirely enthralling

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Hillary S.

MUST read.

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Renee L.

This is probably one my most favorite books ever. I’m sure part of the reason I loved it so much is the narrator. I listened to the book and then went back and listened again the same week.

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Jerrilee G.

Such a great audiobook! Excellent narration and beautifully written. Nice to have some history too

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Patricia R.

I very much enjoyed this book. The narration was excellent as well.

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Anonymous

This novel was not what I usually read, however, I throughly enjoyed every minute of it. The characters were well developed and the “ Liberians” were human with flaws. Loved this book!!!!

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Anonymous

What a great read!! Love the descriptive narratives of settings and characters. Will definitely read more of author’s books and strongly encourage you to enjoy!! Thanks

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Jennifer B.

This was so good! I’m sad that it ended. The narrator did an outstanding job. The story pulls you in. Highly recommend.

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Anonymous

Fantastic narrator for this book. The ability to do all the different characters in this book was amazing!

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Lynn F.

Awesome book. Could not put down!!

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Meagan E.

A mix of hilarity and saddness. The narrator did an outstanding job.

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Ellen F.

Great story. Loved the character development.

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Heather D.

Another favourite book! What a great story. Narrator was excellent at character voices and perfectly suited to the story.

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Adrienne R.

One of my favorite books. Great story and great narration.

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Sunni A.

Great read! I almost didn't purchase it based on the title and the description but soooo glad I did! The story was captivating, inspiring, and educational all at the same time. The characters were extremely well developed. It was one of those books that I really looked forward to listening to every evening. The narrator was perfect for this book. Didn't want it to end!

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Lorraine K.

I thoroughly enjoyed. I found it a compelling read. The characters were realistic and I didn’t want it to end.

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Kelley S.

One of the best audio books I’ve listened to in a long time! Narrator was fantastic and story had me engrossed.

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Anonymous

Long read but entertaining. The narration was excellent and kept my attention as much as plot.

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Tana B.

Best book I’ve read lately.

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Anonymous

This is a wonderful book. Beautiful story. The only issue I had were some of the outside characters voices were very similar. Other than that it was perfect!

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Cathy C.

Loved this book.

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Kim P.

Amazing read, kept me wanting more. Loved these brave women. The narration was excellent!

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Beverly H.

Enjoyed it,

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Anonymous

Great story. It kept my interest throughout. Narration was excellent.

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Lise S.

Very good, just not as outstanding as some of hers

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Rachelle S.

highly recommend this book ....I didn't want to stop listening....would make a great movie too .....loved it!

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Tara M.

I am almost finished with this book and I am so sad. This is great . The narrator does a great job with voice variation and pace. The story is well written and heartfelt. The women are courageous and brave and I could not recommend this book more!!!

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Anonymous

Excellent book, story, style and narration. Gripped me from beginning to end.

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J R.

Great story and narration, enjoyed the book and little twist.

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Debra K.

Excellent book. Love the narrator.

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Virginia F.

Loved this book from the beginning to the end. The narration was great. The characters came alive. I highly recommend this book.

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Vicki K.

What a great book! JoJo Moyes just gets better and better. I love how the availability of books opened up whole new world to the people who lived in the back woods of Kentucky and how the lives of the women working for the library were transformed through their sense of purpose and their deepening friendships. Julia Whelan does a masterful job of narrating!

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Judy D.

A well written and deeply moving book about how several very different women come together in common purpose. They develop binding friendships in a time and place when women were sometimes second-class citizens. The story reminds us how far we have come and the power of the human spirit. .

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Terri D.

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I would give it 10 stars if I could. It is just so upsetting, frustrating and hard to think back to what life was for woman in general, for blacks and probably other ethnic people back in the early ‘30’s. This book bring these woman together and they share in employment, love and respect for each other...the author wrote with spirit, fun and interest which kept me listening and wanting more. The Narrator was amazing as well. Good accents are not easy to get right. She was spot on.

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Terrill R.

6 Stars!! Oh my goodness! This book was fun, feisty, and female empowering. It was also deeply heartbreaking and often frustrating while imagining a time that so many societal factors worked against African Americans, the poor, and especially women. In general, I’ve been an admirer of historical fiction that centered around the early 20th century, but The Great Depression had always been especially interesting. The setting of this particular Depression-era story was a geographical area I had yet to encounter in a historical, as well as featuring facts I’d yet learned about or at the least, not enough. That a novel which chronicled the inception of the Kentucky WPA Packhorse Library managed to move me in so many ways, was fairly incredible. The author did an amazing job showing the hard-earned strength and camaraderie within this group of women librarians. These heroines weren’t the staid and demure females often pictured as “librarians.” They were over-comers, adventurous, and tough in mind and spirit. A few of them only realized their strength after joining the venture. Although those female relationships were the backbone of this story, a couple of romantic subplots were also highlighted and made my heart swoon. Overall, The Giver of Stars was an accomplished story with the potential to reach many audiences as it touched on historical facts, injustices, romance, and basic human rights. This was definitely a top read of 2019! Notes on the audiobook: I mostly listened to the audio version of The Giver of Stars which was narrated by the always fabulous Julia Whelan. I've yet to listen to a story with this narrator that hasn't been incredibly performed. At times, this narrator has out-performed the material she's been given. In this case, both the written and spoken word were equally well done.

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Angela M.

LOVED IT! The narrator was excellent!

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Liane C.

Passes the time

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Lauren W.

I loved the first half of this book. I’d never heard of the packhorse librarians of Kentucky and I was fascinated. The five very different women who reluctantly volunteer for a physically demanding and “ unladylike” job break down barriers of suspicious mountain people as well as develop a deep friendship between themselves, and become empowered as women against prejudices . But the second half veers from the library into two events: the storm and Margaret’s arrest. I don’t know how to explain it exactly but it seemed like some of the drama was overblown with the author building up suspense against “ impossible odds” only to flip it into a somewhat contrived happy ending for all. That felt too “ formula”. Neverthe less I found beautiful parts throughout and raced through to the end to see how it was gonna end. I’d still recommend it!

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Molly E.

Tender, vulnerable, hopeful; a beautiful and mesmerizing book. The narrator was one of the most talented I’ve heard, making the book come alive.

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TR

Great story with insightful excerpts from people who lived through this part of our history! A beautiful miix of truth and inspired story telling! Now, can we convince her to write a sequel where they head west in search of a better life? I want to revisit these people and love them all over again! A great listen with a wonderful narrator!

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Orohm

Slow - couldn’t get into it

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Kaitlin M.

Started a tad slow but if you're a fan of where the crawdads sing you'll like it

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Anonymous

Wonderful read, Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narrator was excellent!

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Deb G

Excellent story and narration. The plot kept me engaged and wanting more. it was hard to pause listening. A great feel good book about the power of strong women and their allies.

The Giver of Stars: A Novel
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This title is due for release on October 8, 2019
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