BOOK REVIEW: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Title: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Author: Kim Michele Richardson
Publication: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 322

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


When my book club decided to read this book for the month of July I was over the moon.  I had it in my Amazon wish list for months then the price finally came down to a more acceptable price, I bought it.  It then sat on my kindle for probably a good year or two waiting patiently to be read.  I had heard a lot of good things about this book and was very excited to finally have a chance to read it.

Cussy Mary Carter lives in the mountains of Kentucky.  She however isn’t your normal 19-year-old girl.  She is a Blue.  Her skin is blue.  Not only that, she is employed by the government to deliver books to those who cannot get to town.  She travels on her mule to the hillfolk far outside of town.  Even though she isn’t as educated she is well read and is able to help the hillfolk by reading to them.  She is unfortunately lumped in with the blacks that are in town, and is not able to use certain things and suffered ridicule from those in town.  This book was so good.  I didn’t want to put it down.  It was absolutely spellbinding.  The story that this author wove was amazing.  I cheered for Cussy Mary the entire way.  She was such a plucky girl and while things kept kicking her down she didn’t let them keep her down. 

The racism that Cussy faced in the story was heart-wrenching.   Just because she was born with a genetic anomaly and was blue and not white she was ridiculed.  I learned some new things about the Blue people of Kentucky.  I had heard about them and knew that they existed but I didn’t know the extent of the racism that they faced or the treatment for it that caused Cussy to be so sick.  The book also touches on coal mining and the results of years of inhaling coal dust.  In the end I am so happy that Cussy got the happy ending that she was looking for even if it was first started in heartache. I hope that this author writes more books.  I will certainly be reading them.


Pick up your copy of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Kim Michele Richardson on her website HERE.

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