Book review by Aarene Storms: Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Cussy Mary Carter is one of the few, the strong... a "book woman" hired by the WPA in 1935 to carry books, magazines and newspapers on horseback to isolated homes and schools in the hollers of eastern Kentucky.

The work is hard, and librarians are expected to ride 100 or more miles each week through terrible weather, but it's one of the few jobs available to a woman in that place and time-- especially a blue woman.

Cussy, like some of her kin, suffers from methemoglobinemia, a congenital disorder that causes an abnormal balance in hemoglobin, resulting in blue skin and chocolate-brown blood. 

Cussy is perfectly healthy, but she is as blue as a summer sky. And in 1930's Kentucky, strong prejudice prevails against colored people, whether the color be black, brown, or even blue.

The town doctor offers Cussy a cure-- a simple pill that will turn her "white as flour." But will a change of color solve all her problems?

Highly recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction backed by a ton of research, and for anyone who has ever loved a librarian. <3 br="">

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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