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Book Review: The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback and rediscovers her passions in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

During the Great Depression, Addie Cowherd dreams of being a novelist and offering readers the escape that books gave her during her tragic childhood. When her adoptive father loses his job, she is forced to leave college and take the only employment she can find–delivering books on horseback to poor coal mining families in the hills of Kentucky.

The small community of Boone’s Hollow is suspicious of outsiders and steeped in superstitions that leave Addie feeling rejected and indignant. Although she finds an unexpected friend in an elderly outcast, the other horseback librarians scorn her determination to befriend Nanny Fay.

Emmett Tharp grew up in the tiny mountain hamlet where most men either work in the coal mine or run moonshine. He’s the first in the community to earn a college degree, and he has big dreams, but witnesses the Depression robbing many young men of their future.

Then someone sets out to sabotage the library program, going so far as to destroy Addie’s novel in progress. Will the saboteur chase Addie and the other librarians away, or will knowledge emerge victorious over prejudice? Is Emmett the local ally that Addie needs–and might their friendship lead to something more?

Inspired by the real WPA program that sent librarians on horseback to deliver books to hill families in Kentucky, Kim Vogel Sawyer immersed herself in Appalachian history to tell this captivating story.

My Thoughts:
What a delightful novel! I picked this one up, excited to see another take on the horseback librarians. And it was a wonderful ride. Sawyer did a great job bringing the setting to life. The story evolved with ease. There was a surprising 3rd point of view character who stole my heart and gave the story a sense of depth and complexity. But I think Sawyer shines even greater with her well-thought-out gospel presentation. The spiritual content was nestled into the novel perfectly and didn’t feel out of place or tacked on.

Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow 5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy horseback librarians or Christian historical fiction.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

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