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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

By Kim Michele Richardson

Beautiful true story of tenacity and triumph.

What a fascinating historical fiction novel Author Richardson has woven out of the true stories of pack women librarians who delivered books to families living far into Appalachian mountains in the 1930s.

The protagonist is an 18-year-old girl who has a bluish hue, a true condition of people born with methemoglobinemia, a rare genetic trait that causes skin to appear blue.

Prejudiced citizens of Troublesome Creek treat the girl and her coal-miner father as outcasts. Her desire to be accepted, to be seen beyond her skin tone, is a beautiful story of courage and tenacity to be true to yourself.

The desperately poor families she serves on her weekly book rounds gives her a community of acceptance and mutual support. The amazing power of books to open up people’s worlds act as a counterpoint to the close-minded townspeople who are suspicious and reject her.

I love how this fictional book is relevant to today as our own society challenges age-old patterns of exclusion and racial bias – it gives fresh impetus to making this progress.

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