From the New York Times bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek!
Bestselling historical fiction author Kim Michele Richardson is back with the perfect book club read following Honey Lovett, the daughter of the beloved Troublesome book woman, who must fight for her own independence with the help of the women who guide her and the books that set her free.
In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.
Picking up her mother's old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn't need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren't as keen to let a woman pave her own way.
If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she's going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.
Praise for The Book Woman's Daughter:
"In Kim Michele Richardson's beautifully and authentically rendered The Book Woman's Daughter she once again paints a stunning portrait of the raw, somber beauty of Appalachia, the strong resolve of remarkable women living in a world dominated by men, and the power of books and sisterhood to prevail in the harshest circumstances. A critical and profoundly important read for our time. Badassery womanhood at its best!"—Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
"Fierce, beautiful and inspirational, Kim Michele Richardson has created a powerful tale about brave extraordinary heroines who are downright haunting and unforgettable."—Abbott Kahler, New York Times bestselling author (as Karen Abbott) of The Ghosts of Eden Park
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 73 members
The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson I thoroughly enjoyed this book’s predecessor The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, and I’m happy to say that The Book Woman’s Daughter is just about perfect sequel. It preserves the tone, the setting, and some of the characters of the original book, and yet it is a new story that provides us more insights into the lives of the characters. It is different enough to be a standalone novel, meaning that readers don’t necessarily have to read the first book, but I’m guessing they will want to because it does provide some background and context for this new book. In this story we follow Honey, the baby girl that Cussy Mary adopted in the first book. We are now in 1950s Kentucky, and 16-year-old Honey’s parents are being taken away to jail for that problem that has dogged them all their married lives: miscegenation laws. Honey’s mother is what they call a “blue,” a person who has a genetic condition that keeps her from absorbing as much oxygen in her blood as most people, and renders her skin a bluish color. In the twisted logic of the times, she is considered a colored person and is not allowed to be married to her husband, who is considered white. Honey, who has a tinge of blue herself, is now left on her own to manage. She shows as much resilience and fortitude as her mother, and has to negotiate many of the same things: getting enough money to survive, dealing with people’s prejudices, and men who are abusive and violent. It would be only fair to point out that it’s also a story of the people who support and help her, not paying any mind to others’ prejudices: the kindly doctor, the lawyer who works to keep her from being sent to a workhouse, and the women who befriend her and stand behind her. Bibliophiles will be pleased to learn that she travels in her mother’s shoes and becomes a book woman herself when the program is brought back to the hills of Kentucky. This is a book that makes you feel. There are enough villains to spark righteous anger. There are enough good guys and women to make you feel hopeful, and there is Honey, a young woman which readers are pulling for every step of the way.
I could hardly put this book down. It grabs you from the very start with characters drawn so true to life you can imagine meeting them and having heartwarming conversations with them. There are new characters with their challenges and lessons to learn and to teach. Honey is such a resilient, smart and compassionate person; truly a product of the love and character of her parents. I truly hope Ms. Richardson has the next installment up her sleeve. Her understanding of the culture of Appalachia and of the time of her stories is spot on. She pulls the reader right in, bringing the story to life.
Fans of the first installment will be pleased with this sequel. Readers meet a 16 year old Honey, daughter of the Troublesome Creek book woman. Further exploration of discrimination based on skin color as well as a look at the roles of women. Engaging and interesting.
I was very excited to read the followup to The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek, of which I have hand-sold many copies. I didn't find The Book Woman's Daughter to be quite as engrossing, but I still think fans of the first book will enjoy reading about how Cussy's daughter carries on her legacy in the face of many challenges and obstacles. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance e-copy.