In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Mary Carter is 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 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.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people--a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman's chances beyond the darkly hollows.
Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a first in literary novels— a bold and unique story about the Kentucky Blue people and Packhorse Librarians — a tale of fierce strength and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.
Atmospheric, fascinating, and an important footnote of history that should be prized and preserved, Kim Michele Richardson provides an authentic Appalachian voice in this beautifully-told tale.