Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Susan Fanetti
Release Date: May 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Eastern Kentucky, 1937.
After the death of her husband, Ada Donovan returned home to live again with her aging parents. She does all she can to help them keep the small family farm going. But times are hard, and there’s never enough.
During one of her infrequent visits to town, she sees a help-wanted notice for the Pack Horse Librarian Project, seeking librarians to ride up high in the mountains and bring books to the people there. Before her marriage, Ada was a teacher, and the thought of returning to the work she loved is impossible to resist. The mountains are her favorite place, books are her great joy, and her horse is her best friend.
But not everyone on the mountain is happy to see her.
Living in a crumbing cabin at the highest, most isolated point of Ada’s route, there’s a family that catches her attention. The father keeps to the shadows. There is no mother to dote on the happy, curious children. But soon Ada comes to love them just as fiercely as the woman they lost.
And makes it her mission to bring them the world.
This was a read that was recommended to me where I was a bit nervous initially diving in. The first chapter is a present moment that then flashes back to a story. I was worried we would go back and forth, but NEVER FEAR, the entire story in 1937 is told before the last chapter that flips back to the present. You won’t be taken out of the story, read away my friends!
I got completely wrapped up in the romance between Ada and Jonah. Oh my goodness it was so dang sweet. It was a slow-burn with a lot of past to work through. I LOVE having both points of view because it allowed me to really appreciate both sides. Struggling through grief, isolation, and wondering if you’ll be able to provide for your family. The hardships of this time were very much realized. It was beautiful getting some hope in this couple and the surrounding plot.
This is a historical fiction about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky! I’ve read one other book about this time and so I was happy to read another. The setting, characters and background are really well written. I felt transported to this time and felt the rawness of all that happened. A romance built on the resilience of Ada and Jonah and the love of their families (past and present) was resonating.
Overall audience notes:
- Historical fiction + romance
- Language: none
- Romance: kisses to open and closed door scenes
- Violence: animal attacks, near death experiences, gun violence, physical altercations, murder, car wreck
- Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a spouse(s), loss of a parent(s), home invasion, domestic abuse (Ada notices this about a small side character), attempted sexual assault