I absolutely loved the Me Before You trilogy by Jojo Moyes, so I was looking forward to reading her new novel, The Giver of Stars. The front cover makes the bold claim from The Times – ‘Her best novel yet’. Best? How could anything bet better than Me Before You?
Set in 1937, The Giver of Stars is the story of Alice. Alice leaves behind her bland, middle class English life for the adventure of marrying a good looking American and moving to the USA. But the people of Baileyville, Kentucky, are wary of newcomers – especially ones who talk like the Queen.
Alice is excited to start her new life with her husband, but she soon realises that her domineering father-in-law is part of the package and there is no privacy for the newlyweds.
When a library service, delivering books on horseback, starts up in the town, Alice finds something to do with her life. The Packhorse Library brings books and literacy to vulnerable, isolated people. It gives Alice freedom and friendship, but not everyone likes the library or its librarians. And Alice’s father-in-law is one of them…
The Giver of Stars is a wonderful book about friendship, love, marriage, strong women – and a little blue book that gets the whole town talking. It touches on so many issues which are still relevant today, including racism, domestic abuse and toxic masculinity.
I can’t tell you how much I love this book. I would recommend it to literally everyone.
Better than Me Before You? Do you know, it just might be! While Me Before You is a fairly straightforward love story, enhanced by the humorous and loveable character of Lou, The Giver of Stars feels so much bigger and bolder. Set in a different place and a different time, it feels like there is much more substance to it.
If you are looking for a moving, but feel good read, you need The Giver of Stars in your life.