A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson- Feature and Review



In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry.

The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government's new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.
 





 LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:



MY REVIEW:

The Book Woman of Troublesome CreekThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson is a 2019 Sourcebooks Landmark publication.

In 1930s Kentucky, Cussy Mary, born with a genetic condition that gives her a blue tinged skin color, is very content with her job working for the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Service. She lives with her widowed father, a coal miner, who, after a series of disastrous attempts to settle Cussy into married life, he allows her to continue to do what she loves best, delivering books to the hill people of East Kentucky.

Unfortunately, Cussy’s blue skin has the pastor claiming ‘Bluets’ are demonic, and he plans to put an end to them.

A local doctor gives Cussy a chance to escape an inevitable bad ending with the pastor, if she will agree to medical testing to determine the reason for her unusual blue coloring.

Cussy’s journey is a difficult one, but she is a fighter, a survivor- and she resolved to help others worse off than herself, rather than give in or give up. Her life wasn’t a fairytale- she continues to face hardships and setbacks, but her spirit and resolve is unbreakable.

I loved this story. It is hard to read sometimes, but there is so much to learn from Cussy’s experiences and from her character.

The author did a fabulous job of placing the reader in the time and place of 1930s Appalachia.

The dialogue and vernacular are well-researched, and I learned all about the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Service- something I was not aware of, and about the genetics that caused Cussy’s blue hued skin- again something I was completely ignorant of.

While the conclusion is not necessarily all wrapped up in a nice neat little bow, it was enough for me. I have faith that Cussy and her little family will find their way and am looking forward to the continuance of this saga, soon.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



NYT and USA TODAY and L. A. TIMES bestselling author, Kim Michele Richardson resides in her home state of Kentucky. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child. Her novels include Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field. The Sisters of Glass Ferry and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Kim Michele latest novel out May 3.2022 is The Book Woman's Daughter, both a standalone and sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.

You can visit her websites and learn more at:

www.kimmichelerichardson.com


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