Thursday, October 22, 2020

THE LIBRARIAN OF BOONE'S HOLLOW by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

 The Librarian of Boone's Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

"You know what books can do. You know what words can do. Don't give up. Will you promise me? Don't you dare let them make you give up."

Addie Cowherd's reception into the small community of Boone's Hollow is less than hospitable, and that's putting it mildly. Automatically considered an "outsider", Kentucky's mountain folk are leery of anyone encroaching their territory, even if the comely horseback librarian is only bringing magazines and books. In spite of their rude treatment, Addie is thankful for steady employment through the Works Progress Administration; instead of finishing her college education she was forced to take an early leave due to her family's financial difficulties. "Look for the blessings", her mother would say, but right now her dreams of becoming a published novelist have been swallowed up by dusty trails and leveled shotguns.

Emmett Tharp wonders if his college degree is of any value; forced to return home to Boone's Hollow, he is struggling to make sense of having to settle for mine employment, even if it does allow him to spend time learning the job that his father has held for so many years in order to support their family. So it was quite a pleasant surprise to discover a fellow college coed working at Boone Hollow's tiny, remote library; he and Addie Cowherd were brief acquaintances at a university social, but what were the chances of ever seeing her again, especially deep within the Kentucky hill country.

Stories within stories invade every page of this sweet tale; grace, kindness, and forgiveness hover over inherent sadness and misunderstandings as Addie discovers that "every life is a story. . . . . and the lives of these folks on Black Mountain are so unique, so rich in tradition". Perhaps Addie has found her calling after all, and perhaps hers is a story that will blend with another; with the right answer to just one question. 


 3.5 stars. I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.

But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone's Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.

As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?


Waterbrook Publishing, September 2020

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:

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