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The Giver of Stars

A Novel
Written by: Jojo Moyes
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"With characters so real they feel like dear friends and a compelling storyline, this is a beautiful, special novel. I loved it and didn’t want it to end!" (Liane Moriarty, number one New York Times best-selling author of Big Little Lies)

"Epic in scope and fiercely feminist...an unforgettable story." (PopSugar)

Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium

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.

Soon to be a major motion picture!

©2019 Jojo Moyes (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"[A] dramatic, sweeping story.... As well as creating wonderful strong characters, Jojo Moyes has an incredible eye for historical detail - I really felt as though I was riding over those Kentucky mountains with those women." (Sophie Kinsella for Bustle)

"Timeless, Jojo Moyes' greatest work yet, and one of the most exquisitely-written - and absolutely compulsory - novels about women ever told." (Lisa Taddeo, number one New York Times best-selling author of Three Women)

"Moyes brings an often forgotten slice of history to life...the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library.... A love letter to the power of books and friendship." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)

"[A] homage to the power of reading and the strength of community.... A must-read for women's fiction." (Booklist starred review)

"An adventure story grounded in female competence and mutual support, and an obvious affection for the popular literature of the early 20th century, give this Depression-era novel plenty of appeal.... There’s plenty of drama, but the reader’s lasting impression is one of love." (Publishers Weekly)

"Rich in history, with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place, this book will fit well in any library’s fiction collection. For fans of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants or Catherine Marshall’s Christy." (Library Journal starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narration, Fantastic job with different voices.

Loved the story. A great example of the resilience of women, their ability to seek kindness , and their connection to one another.

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  • Gayle Owens
  • 2019-10-11

Superb

Excellent writing with witty dialogue and superb plot development. The narration was outstanding. I highly recommend this story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ROBIN
  • 2019-10-15

My favorite book this year!

This story and it's characters grabbed my interest from the very beginning.
I knew half way through that I didn't want it to end, and that I would miss these people. I am not usually a big fan of historical fiction, but this book was outstanding! I also love that the pack horse library was a real thing.
I highly recommend this one, regardless of your typical genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Grace Cathey
  • 2019-10-14

Such good narration in this book

I love the story and the narration was incredible .
The giver of stars was one of the finest stories so true to life and very historical a must read or listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzanne-Marie
  • 2019-10-14

Quite the story! Marvelous narration!

The Giver of Stars, proved to be a wonderful story, beautifully crafted, interestingly evoking its historical time and place and filled with a variety of, believable, multi-dimensional characters about which I came to care.
Some aspects depicted of the grinding poverty, wide spread illiteracy, horrific coal mining conditions and flagrant disregard for basic human rights, were hard to beat. However, Jojo Moyes balanced those elements with twists and turns of story crafted, also, with humor, heroism, compassion, concern for the welfare of humans, beasts and place.

Julia Whelan did a superb job of narration; in my listening experience, she is one of the very best.

I would never have thought I would so thoroughly like a book set in 1930’s Kentucky”s Appalachian hills and hollers, but, The Giver of Stars was a true page turner and I hated for it to end! This was a solidly good book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 2019-10-13

JoJo Moyes does not disappoint!

I only “read” audio and I’m fussy. I loved this book. This historical fiction from the mid-30’s in the Kentucky mountains is well researched, with rich characters. I so enjoyed all the librarians and how they grew from both their work and the relationships they developed with each other. I am going to miss the two main characters.
There is a lot packed into this book. I couldn’t put it down. And excellent narration.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Abby Sinnard
  • 2019-10-11

SO GOOD.

So good!

Such a well written and a very interesting story. Deeply feministic in all the right ways.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn Jenkins
  • 2019-10-16

Another winner

Did not want this book to end. I am finished listening however and feel so enriched by this wonderful story. The premise of the book is based on the true story of women working against immense odds to venture out in remote areas of Kentucky on horseback, delivering reading material to women and families who would not otherwise have access to them. Such beautiful character development and warm stories of these women finding success and acceptance. Truly a wonderful book. Thank you Ms. Moyes. Please get cracking on your next book?

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  • Diana
  • 2019-10-15

Read it first

I loved this book. I have lived in the Appalachian mountains my entire life. How did I not know about this? This would make a great book club feature.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-14

10 STARS!

Best i have read in a while. (I read approximately 3 books a week) 😊 i don’t understand how this book haven’t gotten wayyyyyy more reviews.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful