During the 1930s, FDR initiated the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, under the WPA. In this fictional account, Cussy Mary Carter is one of the librarians who faithfully delivered books to far-flung residents of Appalachia. In spite of the prejudice against her, due to a genetic condition that colored her skin blue, Cussy Mary is beloved by her clients who, because of her infectious love of books, are able to escape their hard-scrabble lives, if only for fleeting moments. A heart-warming story that reveals a little-known Depression-era project.
~ Eight Cousins
— From Summer Picks 2019
May 2019 Indie Next List
“I loved this wonderful story about Cussy Mary, a pack horse librarian in eastern Kentucky in the 1930s and one of the last of the blue-skinned people of that area. As Cussy faces pressure to marry and difficulties maintaining her arduous book route through twisty and dangerous mountain passes, she earns the respect of the mountain people she serves so faithfully. Beautifully written and heartbreaking at times, this is a story I will never forget.”
— Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop, Midlothian, VA
"...a hauntingly atmospheric love letter to the first mobile library in Kentucky and the fierce, brave packhorse librarians who wove their way from shack to shack dispensing literacy, hope, and -- just as importantly -- a compassionate human connection."--Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything--everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.
Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.
Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere--even back home.
Additional Praise for The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek:
"A unique story about Appalachia and the healing power of the written word."--Kirkus
"A timeless and significant tale about poverty, intolerance and how books can bring hope and light to even the darkest pocket of history."--Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar Temptress Soldier Spy
"Emotionally resonant and unforgettable, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a lush love letter to the redemptive power of books."--Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Almost Sisters