Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek


A story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can ...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Next Page

1 2

Previous Page

Discuss The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson:
Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

Created: 08/26/19

Replies: 48

Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1973

Expert

Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 72

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved this book! My reaction was similar to the one I had to “News of the World,” by Paulette Jiles, which I reviewed for BookBrowse: how did I not know about this subject? The author told a beautiful story that was informative, tense, and both infuriating and ultimately happy.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 166

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved this book for several reasons. The strength of Cussy was remarkable. She remained kind, loving and loyal even when shown the ugliness and hatred of racism. The goodness of the characters who loved her and stood up for Cussy in the face of so much hate. A lesson that transcends through time until today. Simply being loyal and loving to someone who deserves that from you regardless of race, religion or anything that might make them different from other people.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertaw

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 28

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I was very impressed by this book and learned things I never knew. I did not know anything about the "blue" people of Kentucky or the packhorse librarians. Cussy was a great character and the reader can easily feel her joys and heartaches. After finishing the book, I thought about it for several days and told lots of people about the book. I recommend it and would give it 4-5 stars for sure.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 36

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

Loved it. The blue people and the library system were new to me. Characters were believable. Plot was easy to follow. And it put a happy face on folks with a challenging life. Without social or political commentary, which was refreshing.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 192

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved the book. Especially being a retired librarian I enjoyed learning about this program. Not only did they bring books, magazines, newspaper to these people, they read to them, helped them with many problems. They were brave, never knowing the dangers they might encounter. I will be sharing this book with many.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jamiek

Join Date: 11/21/17

Posts: 20

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved this book— the history, the characters, the story. It opened my eyes to a time and people I knew nothing about. I loved how her clients stood by her and how she always saw the good in people, even when hatred surrounded her. I also loved how smart she was— changing the bootlegger's mind about books by giving him something practical. We read about hard times, but seeing kids die of hunger really brought them home, but through the story, not through political statements. Never preachy— always humble and truthful— this is a story I am happy to share.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julieo

Join Date: 04/09/17

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I absolutely loved this book! Just when I thought it was finished, the story kept going....my kind of story. Learning about the pack horse librarians and the blue-skinned people of Kentucky had me searching the internet for more information. I experienced many emotions following the storyline and getting to know the characters. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, nature and family.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Janet Smith

Join Date: 07/28/14

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved the book! Learned all about packhorse librarians and the "blues" of Kentucky. Also loved the grit and determination of these packhorse librarians and their devotion to their patrons.


Posted Sep. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 38

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

Wow! I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. As a Kentuckian, I was drawn to the history, including the story of the packhorse librarians and the blue people of Eastern Kentucky. The main characters were complex and incredibly strong in the face of back breaking poverty, prejudice and isolation. Cussy Mary may be one of my favorite heroines. I admire her strength, her independence, and her problem-solving skills. The author’s language paints a vivid picture of her characters; even Junia, the mule, is an unforgettable character. As an educator and lover of books, I related to the thirst for knowledge that led the inhabitants of Troublesome Creek to support the Book Woman. I am looking forward to discussing this book with my book club!


Posted Sep. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janhubbard

Join Date: 04/11/19

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I thought this was a great book, and one that stayed with me for some time. I recommended it to my book club friends. The two topics discussed were both new to me.: I didn't know about the WPA project that employed women to work for the library, and deliver books and other reading material to residents who lived in the mountains and hollows. And I had never heard of the "blue people" of the mountainous region in Kentucky. The latter was truly fascinating. While reading the book, I looked up both topics online to learn more. It was very surprising to read that those who had a genetic anomaly that caused them to blush a blueish color rather than pink, were treated as "colored" people, and forced to follow the rules of segregation in the Jim Crow South of those times. . . . and that they accepted that. That part was painful to read. At times, I thought it might be a romance novel. It most definitely is not.


Posted Sep. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gwenc

Join Date: 07/14/12

Posts: 39

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

This book is fascinating. I had a vague sense of the WPA Library Project, but certainly not the hardships the librarians had to endure - and no books supplied by the government - Unreal. What dedicated, caring, nurturing women and men they had to be! The pictures at the end of the book confirm this. I had never heard of "blue people" and not one person I've spoken to since I got this book in the mail had either. I truly relished reading this book - and the romance angle only heightened my interest.


Posted Sep. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 78

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

This was a great book. So informative. The blue-skinned people story was a revelation - showing our continued problem to accept people who are different.
The story of the WPA's Pack Horse Library was a delight. Ever since reading about the National Theatre (that was part of the WPA and other make-work projects started by the American government to help people get back to work during the Great Depression), I have looked for other stories and facts about these amazingly varied projects. This was a new one, and just as fascinating.
I have read other novels about people in Appalachia and this was by far more enjoyable - people were believable and interesting.


Posted Sep. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julief

Join Date: 02/08/17

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved this book. I learned so much from a historical perspective and the story was compelling. Cussy was a very courageous and strong willed woman. This is a terrific book club read - many different aspects for discussion. Thank you for sharing this book and author with us!


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kellilee's Gravatar
kellilee

Join Date: 11/18/14

Posts: 70

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I will be the naysayer in the group - the clear minority that only found this to be an average read for me. I was fascinated with the subject matter and found myself googling about the blue-skinned people of Kentucky but was otherwise a bit disappointed. I found the dialect tiresome, the story a little too melodramatic, and the author was a bit heavy-handed about the messages she was clearly trying to convey. I prefer more of a subtle approach to historical novels that make me work a little and think a lot and maybe even make me question good v. evil. Nothing like that was going on in this novel. Easy read but just ho-hum for me.


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

Both the characters and the plot stayed with me, something I can't seem to find in many books.


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Laura

Join Date: 04/13/11

Posts: 20

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I really enjoyed the book. I live in Eastern Kentucky and that enhanced my enjoyment of the book. I work in a library and we are having Kim Michele Richardson, the author, here this Sunday, Sept. 8 for a book signing. She is such a wonderful, sweet lady. I am so thrilled for her success with this book.


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mildas

Join Date: 05/11/16

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

Learning about the “blue” people of Kentucky and the pack horse (mule) librarians through Cussy was an experience that I treasure. The book was an eye opener to a history that I knew nothing about. I will definitely recommend this historically based novel to my book club. This was a beautiful book.


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 208

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved this book. I learned so much about history. I had heard about the horseback library, but I had never heard of blue people. This was hard to believe. It was, in many ways, a sad book. The people were so poor. They had little or no education. I was amazed at how happy books could make them. I think about today when it is so easy to get books. I know I would be one of them waiting for Cussy to come. I had to look up more about them. We need more books like this.


Posted Sep. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 33

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I'll have more to say once I've finished it (soon). But what strikes me so far is the brilliant weaving of historical detail. This is fascinating history. I find myself supplementing my reading with searches for Blue People of Kentucky; Cussy, France; and Packhorse Library Project, among other things. Brava, Kim Michele Richardson, for bringing this history to light.


Posted Sep. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I enjoyed the book very much. So much of it was relevant to issues that we as a country still face today and while I find that disturbing, it also pushed me to discuss the book with friends and recommend it to many. I enjoy reading about strong women and delving into history. Richardson did an excellent job pairing the Library Women with the Blue people. Several scenes in the book jumped out at me for various reasons but often the manner in which Richardson showed the dichotomy of the times in Troublesome Creek grabbed me. On page 58 while Cussy is working in the Library Center and she watches a horse drawn wagon pull up to the Company Store then the radio is switched on. The descriptions often lulled me into the late 1800’s and then with a shock a well placed development of the 1900’s would remind me the story was set in 1936 and that would bring me back to the stark reality of the lives many people outside of our more developed areas were living.


Posted Sep. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 86

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved the book, I cried throughout the whole book. Cussy being so alone due to the racism. The absolute meanness of people tore through my heart. Watching children starve to death. The strength of Cussy to carry on with it all.


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 86

Expert

I LOVED THIS BOOK

I cried throughout the book and for me, that is a sign of a well-written book. To get your emotions all involved.
There was so much sadness in the book, Cussy's loneliness due to her being blue. The meanness of the other women. The abject poverty and the children starving to death. The generosity of people giving there last loaf of bread. I bawled when Cussy's husband covered her face when he was having sex with her. Her tenderness with her mule. Her thoughtfulness for all of her library patrons. Her devotion to her father. I


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TerryPark

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found myself pausing to research things like the blue people, or the medical treatment that could mask/cure the blueness, as I was reading. I admired the bravery Cussy showed in her interactions with her library patrons, and the devotion she had in finding them the right reading material. I also admired her generosity to those patrons, with her time and her food. For someone who was treated so poorly by others, she gave her all to those she was in contact with. I was horrified at her first marriage, and her treatment by people in her community, but marveled at her responses and courage. I understood her father's actions, and was glad he stood by her when her first marriage was so horrible. The surprise finish to the second ceremony caught me totally off guard, but I was then surprised at myself for thinking it would be so happily ever after at that point.
Overall, I loved the book. I have recommended it to many, and heard only similar pleasure at the read.


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 373

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved this book. It was incredible learning about the Blue people. At first I thought I must be reading fiction, but then it was so factual, I found myself on the computer reading more and more about this group. And what a life it was for poor Cussy. There were parts of the book, that were very difficult for me to read, as my grandfather was a coal miner in PA at that time. They were treated horribly and he did eventually die of black lung.
I can't wait to share this book with my book group and give a copy to my librarian who will enjoy reading about the book women.


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I agree with Reene. My grandfather was also a coal miner in PA and he died from black lung. I remember hearing about his death from my father, though I never met him . In PA coal country, the sad truth about The Company Store and the treatment of the miners was a well known tragedy. It is a shameful time in our country’s history and many families have stark memories of that time. The book touches on some of the awful conditions the miners faced daily. Where I grew up if you chose to eat your dessert before your meal someone would invariably ask - “ are you a miner now? “ the meaning was a reference to the miners’ lunch bucket where the wife packed the dessert on top of the main meal and the miners ate dessert first in case they didn’t live to get to the rest of their food . At least they didn’t miss dessert.


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 36

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I really enjoyed The Book Woman and have nominated it for a book review series at my library. The story is compelling and I enjoyed learning more about the real horseback librarians as well as about the blue people.


Posted Sep. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 122

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved the book. I did know about the WPA project and other similar projects with music and oral histories in Appalachia. I had known about the blue people from sociology courses. Kim Richardson was able to pull together 2 historic happenings and weave them into a delightful story. She did a magnificent job of researching the history.


Posted Sep. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JillL

Join Date: 10/19/16

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I loved it. I had no idea about the library program and having me a blue person, I could easily visualize the characters. I love books that show you a very different setting and set of problems.


Posted Sep. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 79

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I enjoyed many aspects of the book. I knew nothing about the blue people of Kentucky or the pack horse librarians, so I found those things fascinating. I also liked the character of Cussy Mary and her interactions with her patrons. I did feel that the romance was a bit forced. Jackson was rather one-dimensional and I just didn’t buy his sudden undying love. Also it seemed extremely odd that the person who married them wound have done so if it were against the law. The book just felt rushed to me at the end.


Posted Sep. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pbail34

Join Date: 02/19/19

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I am about half way through and love it! I have been listening to it when I am unable to read it, the audio version is wonderful with the southern accents. I was not aware of the Blue People of Kentucky, so I am learning an important history lesson as well as learning about the plight of the coal miners in the 1930s.


Posted Sep. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 235

Expert

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I was very interested in the subject matter. I'd never heard of the Blue People or of the traveling library. When I have more time, I hope to learn more about the Blue People. I liked the story but felt it ended a bit abruptly by jumping ahead in the story. I'd like to have known some of the in-between from their "marriage" to when they are going to leave. It was a good book.


Posted Sep. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jhoov

Join Date: 10/16/18

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I love a book with an intriguing story line, characters that make me want to root for them, and that teaches me something. This book had all of that. I knew nothing about the blue people nor about pack horse librarians and want to learn more about them. I also found the Cussy and Jackson the kind of people I would like to spend time with.


Posted Sep. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

I had two very different reactions to the book. I loved the story of the Pack Horse Librarians. I felt that Cussy was very brave and committed to bringing reading to her patrons, and I loved how much her visits meant to them. I was less involved in the Blue People story. I don’t enjoy reading about such blind prejudice and cruelty, or the doctor’s exploitation of the family’s danger and Cussy’s need for acceptance.


Posted Sep. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kkb

Join Date: 04/22/19

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what do you think of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek?

A coworker of mine read the book and sent an email out about how she loved the book. This is a person who never comments on what she reads, so I was intrigued! Several others of us read the book, and I loved it also. It was a subject I knew nothing about, and wanted to learn more after finishing the book, both about the blue people of Kentucky, and the Pack Horse Librarians. This shows how important libraries and librarians have been, and still are, to all.


Next Page

1 2

Previous Page

Reply

Please login to post a response.