I feel that I should preface this review with the following: Jojo Moyes is one of my favourite authors. I eagerly await her new novels, and I have to get my hands on them on the day of release. And then, oddly enough, I wait. Not for long, just a few days. I’m not entirely sure why I do this, but if I were to speculate, I’d say that I fear disappointment. It is a slightly ridiculous notion, because I have never, not once, been disappointed by a Jojo Moyes novel. And I am happy to say that the streak continues – I very much enjoyed The Giver of Stars.
The Giver of Stars is a bit different from other Jojo Moyes novels in that it is set in a remote town in 1930s Kentucky. The story follows the women who run the town’s pack horse library, a concept that was developed by the US Government during the period in order to improve literacy. I very much enjoy when historical fiction novels have a whisper of truth to them, but when the characters and plot surrounding the historical aspect are fictitious. In the past I have found myself disappointed by some historical fiction novels upon discovering that the characters or storyline were not entirely fictional, but I digress. Moyes perfectly balances the relationship between fact and fiction with The Giver of Stars, in my opinion.
As is true with all Jojo Moyes novels, The Giver of Stars is a novel primarily about women. And yet, I do not think this would detract from a male’s ability to enjoy the story. Writing about women is an area where Moyes excels, and that really shows with The Giver of Stars. Each of the women presented in the novel are so different, and yet I found myself fascinated by all of their stories. To be truthful, I do wish that she had done more with a few of the female characters, but I suppose there really only are so many pages. It is always a good sign when you are so invested in the characters that you just want to keep reading about them. This is something that Moyes does particularly well.
One area in which Moyes truly excels with in The Giver of Stars is the writing – the novel undoubtedly showcases her talent as a writer. The descriptive language used to depict the Kentucky countryside is beautiful; at some points I felt that if I closed my eyes I would be able to picture the landscape. Having read all of her novels, I have never had doubts about Moyes’ ability as a writer, and yet I was truly impressed by this book.
The Giver of Stars is one of the best historical fiction novels that I have read this year, and I highly recommend it.
Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!