February Online Book Club: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
February Online Book Club: What is it?
Love the idea of a book club, but you don’t have time to attend meetings? No problem!
We won’t have meetings, but anyone who reads or listens to that month’s title, either with physical copies or digital copies, can participate in our online discussion boards on Facebook and our blog posts.
If you’re busy, but love to read, this could be the perfect Book Club for you! Join us and keep the conversation going!
The February Online Book Club title is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.
About The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
From the publisher…
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.
About Kim Michele Richardson
From the author’s website…
Award winning author, Kim Michele Richardson, has written four works of historical Southern fiction, and the bestselling memoir, The Unbreakable Child. Her latest novel, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, earned a 2019 LibraryReads Best Book, a 2019 Forbes Best Historical Novel, an Oprah’s Buzziest Books pick and a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Reads selection. It was inspired by the real life “blue people” of Kentucky, and the fierce, brave Packhorse Librarians who used the power of literacy to overcome bigotry, and fear during the Great Depression. Kim Michele lives with her family in Kentucky. To learn more visit www.kimmichelerichardson.com
The library owns several of Ms. Richardson’s other books, if you’d like to check them out as well.
Readalikes for The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Discussion questions for The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
From the publisher’s Book Club Guide (download for additional questions and commentary)…
- The Kentucky Pack Horse program was implemented in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to create women’s work programs and to assist economic recovery and build literacy. Looking at the novel, how did the program affect the people in this remote area? Do you think library programs are still a vital part of our society today?
- How has a librarian or booklover impacted your life? Have you ever connected with a book or author in a meaningful way? Explain.
- Imagine you are making a community scrapbook like the ones Cussy distributes to the people of Troublesome. What would you include? Do you think these materials were helpful to Cussy’s library patrons?
- When Cussy receives the cure for her blueness from Doc, she realizes there’s a price to pay for her white skin, and the side effects soon become too much to handle. If you were in Cussy’s shoes, would you sacrifice your health for a chance at “normalcy”? If there weren’t any side effects, do you think Cussy would have continued to take the medication? Would you?
- How do you think Cussy feels when she is ostracized at the Independence Day celebration, despite her change of skin color? Can you relate to her feelings of isolation? Do you think these kinds of racial prejudices are still prevalent
- What do you think life was like for the people of Troublesome? What are some of the highlights of living in such a remote place? What are some of the challenges the people on Cussy’s library route face?
Remember to tell us what you think! Comment on this post or on Facebook and let us know your thoughts about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.