Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their unforgettable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium
When Alice Wright agrees to marry handsome American Bennett Van Cleve and leave behind her stifling life in England for a new adventure in Kentucky, she’s soon disenchanted by her newlywed status and overbearing father-in-law, owner of the local coal mine. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, the smart-talking, self-sufficient daughter of a notorious local criminal, a woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. Alice finds Margery as bracing and courageous as anyone she's ever met--and comes to rely on her, especially as her marriage starts to fail.
They will be joined by three diverse women and become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to these women--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers--from moonshiners to snakes, from mountains to floods--and social disapproval to boot. But they believe deeply in their work bringing books to people who had never had any, expanding horizons and arming them with facts that will change their lives.
Based on a true story rooted in America's past, the storytelling itself here is enthralling--the pages fly, and the book is unparalleled in its scope and its epic breadth. Funny, heartbreaking, and rewarding, it is a rich novel of women's friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.