The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel
by Kim Michele Richardson
Paperback- $7.99

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/10/19

This book is haunting. It is a perfect meld between “Where the Crawdads Sing” and “The Library Book.” I highly recommend for any book club.

  "the book woman of troublesome creek" by Carolynr (see profile) 05/17/19

probably 3.5.
Loved this story and thought it very interesting that some could look past Cussy's blueness and others could not. Probably the same in today's world as well.
excellent read

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/23/19

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  "A harsh tale about a harsh life" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/09/19

Always interesting to read novels based on history and learn about the past. The pack horse librarian life was harsh enough in the midst of the Great Depression, but this story adds another layer following the life of a young lady with Methemoglobinemia and the troubles she endured as a result of her colour. Despite all odds she brings compassion and knowledge to her book clients.

Well written you often feel like you're alone in the mountains/forests with her.

The end felt very rushed.

  "Excellent Book" by LauraAdams (see profile) 12/14/19

I loved this book. It was a very informative book based on true events. Set in Appalachian Kentucky during the 1930's where there was a government program to hire horseback librarians to deliver books. It also was about the "blue people" of the area during that time. Have met the author, Kim Michele Richardson, as well and she is wonderful.

  "" by wellredmammajamma (see profile) 01/21/20

The read is as easy and comfortable as if one were riding one's own pack horse on the easy parts of the Kentucky terrain, with scenery passing by and sharing its secrets. But the secrets one encounters are less than comfortable. Darkness, hardship, heartbreak, and utterly infuriating ignorance are all part of the landscape. Characters are overly simplistic, like comic book good guys and bad guys. Regardless, the story is enjoyable and informational, with characters who break one's heart. More than once I found myself investigating the blue people of Kentucky, thoroughly intrigued by this anomaly of which I had been completely ignorant. Some socio- political themes are mentioned, dropped in the book in case one would like to dive into them more deeply.
But the themes are really just dropped, not carried or expanded. This book is a great read for young people, 5th grade on up, I would think. The end is a bit clipped, as if the author ran out of time. Or maybe it is intentional. Maybe all endings are clipped, uncertain, unknown, and blended into the landscape.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/01/20

  "Facinating story" by ssskjw (see profile) 02/02/20

I never knew about the Book Women of Kentucky and what difficult lives they lived. The twist of genetics was also a new fact for me and quite fascinating.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/17/20

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  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/09/20

The beginning and middle of the book moved along, but the end of the book left many questions.

  "" by smozer (see profile) 07/16/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/19/20

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/20/20

Loved the history!

  "Historic story wonderfully told" by Phyllisouthfield (see profile) 10/17/20

  "" by KM (see profile) 11/13/20

  "This novel reveals the stupidity of racism" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 11/15/20

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Kim Michele Richardson, author; Katie Schorr, narrator
In the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, a Packhorse Librarian named Cussy Mary Carter is unique. She has a blood disorder called Methemoglobinemia, which turns her blood to brown because of an oxygen deficiency. This disorder causes her skin to be blue. The disease was unknown at the time, and “blue” people were considered “colored”. She was supposedly the last of her kind. Blues were subject to the unfair, capricious laws governing race relations. Cussy, also known as Bluet and later on as The Widow Frazier, was humiliated and shunned by ignorant white townspeople. Her boss at the library ridiculed her.
Cussy is possessed of a gentle, compassionate nature. When her mother dies, her father, Elijah, fears for her safety. He knows he will soon die. A coal miner, he is already suffering from black lung disease. Although Cussy is an independent young woman and an obedient daughter, he insists that she take a husband. Not many, however, will marry a “blue”. Cussy really only wants two things in life. She is devoted to and wants to care for her father, and she wants to do her job as a librarian, riding through the hills to deliver her books and magazines. She loves her patrons and carefully selects their reading materials and visits with them, bringing a little bit of joy into fairly joyless lives.
The Packhorse Librarians are part of a Roosevelt era work project. The librarians, mostly women, serve a community of poverty-stricken inhabitants who are consumed with the job of survival. They are superstitious and many are illiterate. Cussy reads to those who can’t and provides books for those who can read. It is dangerous work, as Cussy, a woman alone, rides through the hills to serve people who are literally starving, living in shacks and barely getting by. She witnesses tremendous suffering and loss. Many of her patrons will not touch her because of the color of her skin. Many actually fear her. She, however, always rises to the occasion, no matter how many times they try to beat her down. She earnestly searches out reading material to suit each person and feels enormous satisfaction from helping them. She develops emotional attachments to several of them. Although she is the one who is looked down upon, she has a better moral character than those who reject her.
This story is often heartbreaking and is filled with a heavy sadness as the tragedy of the lives of the hill people is exposed. It is also filled with a sense of hopefulness, as the resilience of Cussy shines through, no matter how many times her character is tested.
The local doctor in Troublesome Creek wants to do some tests on Cussy. He is sure he can find a cure for what afflicts her. He constantly asks for permission to do so, and finally, Elijah tells Cussy to submit to the demands of the doctor, in order to save both their lives. The doc takes her to the hospital to begin his research and promises to protect her from harm.
The dialect seems very authentic and the narrator reads with an appropriate tone, identifying each character as an individual and allowing the novel to play out without becoming an overwhelming part of it, in other words, the narrator did an excellent job.
Because the book is about the unjust way Cussy is treated, it is also about the injustice of racism. This novel truly exhibits the meaningless stupidity of prejudice.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/29/20

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