The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes book review

The Giver of Stars is a book I had seen receive a lot of praise across my social media channels. I’d heard of JoJo Moyes first via her movie Me Before You with Emelia Clark in it which I really liked. However, I’d heard this book was very different to anything she’d written before and, if she’s only really written stories about love before, I have to agree.

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When Alice arrives in Kentucky from England after marrying a handsome American, she’s looking for an escape from the stuffy, overly British life and is hoping for a little more freedom. When she joins soon-to-be-best friend Margery in offering a mobile library to the town, she soon realises how backwards some of the attitudes are and how her life is going to be a lot more difficult in this town than she initially hoped.

The Giver of Stars plot – 4.5/5

It took quite a while for me to understand where The Giver of Stars was going. At points, I wondered if it was going to be a love story or whether it was going to be a redemption story. However, eventually, it did all start to click and make sense and, without ruining the storyline, it’s a far more mature and complete story than a simple, basic romance.

It’s a story about strong women, it’s a story about the power of literature (something I can really get behind) and it’s the story of standing up for what’s right. There are also a lot of moments where things just don’t go right with some difficult choices to make.

As I said earlier, it feels like a very mature story written very much for those who don’t want to read about soppy romance or cheesy one-liners. It’s about the fact love isn’t always easy, that things don’t always turn out how you had hoped and that you have to work to get what you want. Loved it!

The Giver of Stars characters – 4.5/5

There are a few main characters in The Giver of Stars, however, Alice and Margery are the two main stories that we follow throughout the book. Alice comes from England and is expecting a slightly easier wife where she can be the wife of a handsome and polite man. Things don’t turn out as she expected and when she decides to open a mobile library with Margery, a local who is already fairly shunned by many of the folk in town, she begins to feel like it’s not going to be as relaxing and great as she initially thought.

Alice is a strong character who clearly has come to this town expecting something and when people start to stand in her way, her true personality comes out. Moyes does a great job of portraying a character who clearly isn’t used to such confrontation but, with the support of Margery, soon learns how to deal with those around her who don’t support her.

Margery is already a stern and interesting character. There’s some history with her family that sees her as already the black sheep of the town with many warning Alice not to go near her. Margery is a very enjoyable character, in a town where men are the rulers and women are supposed to just support them, she defies this, living alone and only accepting a man into her life under the circumstances she wants – eventually forming a relationship more genuine than any of the others we see throughout the book.

The Giver of Stars final rating – 4.5

The Giver of Stars was a mature and very enjoyable book. It tells the story of strong women during a time where women weren’t allowed to be strong. It is a novel about how romance and love don’t always turn out the way you want and aren’t always found in formulaic ways. Alice and Margery are great main characters and the story itself flows nicely, dipping us into different lives and unique circumstances. The fact it’s all based on a true story is also fascinating and one that makes the whole endeavour feel even more worth reading. If you’re looking for an easy, enjoyable but mature book, The Giver of Stars should be near the top of your list.

Pick up a copy of The Giver of Stars here.

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