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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
A PBS BOOK PICK
The bestselling historical fiction from Kim Michele Richardson, this is a novel following Cussy Mary, a packhorse librarian and her quest to bring books to the Appalachian community she loves, perfect for readers of Lee Smith and Lisa Wingate. The perfect addition to your next book club!
The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.
Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.
Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.
"This gem of a historical from Richardson features an indomitable heroine navigating a community steeped in racial intolerance...Readers will adore the memorable Cussy and appreciate Richardson's fine rendering of rural Kentucky life."—Publishers Weekly
Other Bestselling Historical Fiction from Sourcebooks Landmark:
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
The Engineer's Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood
Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
In this coming-of-age novel, a white, small-town Kentucky teen uncovers dark secrets while investigating her mother’s suspicious death in 1972.
In 1972, on Mudas Summers’s seventeenth birthday, her beloved Mama, Ella, is found hanging from the rafters of their home. Most people in Peckinpaw, Kentucky, assume that Ella’s no-good husband did the deed. Others think Ella grew tired of his abuse and did it herself. Muddy is determined to find out for sure either way, especially once she finds strange papers hidden amongst her mama’s possessions.
But Peckinpaw keeps its secrets buried deep. Muddy’s almost-more-than-friend, Bobby Marshall, knows that better than most. Though he passes for white, one of his ancestors was Frannie Crow, a slave hanged a century ago on nearby Hark Hill Plantation. Adorning the town square is a seat built from Frannie’s gallows. A tribute, a relic—and a caution—it’s known as Liar’s Bench. Now, the answers Muddy seeks soon lead back to Hark Hill, to hatred and corruption that have echoed through the years—and lies she must be brave enough to confront at last.
“Glorious… Liar’s Bench succeeds on many levels…. Much of any reader’s delight will be rooted in savoring the sounds, smells, tastes, and fragrances that enhance her captivating vision of a typical Southern small town during two linked periods of its history.”—Southern Literary Review
“This has southern small-town charm… includes recipes and discussion questions and may appeal to those who like Rebecca Wells or Jennifer Chiaverini.”—Booklist“A satisfying mystery with thought-provoking historical elements, written in a sassy Southern voice.”—Historical Novels Review
Spanning several decades and written in an authentic voice both lyrical and wise, The Sisters of Glass Ferry is a haunting novel about small-town Southern secrets, loss and atonement, and the unbreakable bond between siblings.
Glass Ferry, Kentucky, is bourbon country. Whiskey has been a way of life for generations, enabling families to provide and survive even in the darkest times. Flannery Butler’s daddy, Beauregard “Honey Bee” Butler, was known for making some of the best whiskey in the state, aged in barrels he’d take by boat up and down the Kentucky River until the rocking waters turned the spirits smooth and golden. Flannery is the only person Honey Bee ever entrusted with his recipes before he passed on, swearing her to secrecy as he did so.
But Flannery is harboring other secrets too, about her twin sister Patsy, older by eight minutes and pretty in a way Flannery knows she’ll never be. Then comes the prom night when Patsy—wearing a yellow chiffon dress and the family pearls—disappears along with her date. Every succeeding year on the twins’ birthday, Flannery’s mother bakes a strawberry cake, convinced that this is the day Patsy will finally come home. But it will be two tumultuous decades until the muddy river yields a clue about what happened that night, compelling Flannery to confront the truth about her sleepy town, her family’s past, and the choices she and those closest to her have made in the name of love and retribution . . .
“Richardson has a knack for layering a landscape with secrets, for slowly revealing what’s hidden until suddenly you find what you've been chasing sitting in the palm of your hand. The Sisters of Glass Ferry is bountifully written—a place fully realized and packed with characters you won’t soon forget.” —David Joy, author of The Weight Of This World
“The Sisters of Glass Ferry peels back the layers of a small town to reveal a labyrinth of long-buried secrets and dangerous lies. Richardson delivers a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric Southern Gothic tale that stayed with me long after I turned the last page.” —Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar Temptress Soldier Spy
“This heart-rending, lovely family drama spans sixty years and four generations, peeling back the layers of a small town to reveal a labyrinth of long-buried lies and a wealth of dangerous secrets suspended between three families. The Sisters of Glass Ferry is so fast paced I couldn’t stop turning the pages, but then I’d smash into another jewel-like sentence and have to stop to reread it. Kim Michele Richardson writes with an authentic Southern voice straight out of Kentucky, well graveled, rough with moonshine, and damn near irresistible.” —Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of gods in Alabama and The Almost Sisters
A rural Kentucky teenager comes of age in the summer of 1969 in this novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.
Nameless, Kentucky, in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact—just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can destroy a tobacco field. RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some. Her God-fearing uncle, Gunnar, has a short fuse and high expectations, but he’s given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five. Yet now a month shy of her sixteenth birthday, RubyLyn itches for more.
Maybe it’s something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk, each covered with beautifully wrought, prophetic drawings. Or perhaps it’s because of Rainey Ford, her black neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field and with whom she has a kinship—despite the disapproval of others.
“A voice rich and authentic, steeped in the somber beauty that defines life in the South.”—David Joy, author of When These Mountains Burn
“Richardson’s brilliant writing made me feel as though I were transported back in time…and actually there witnessing this poignant heartfelt story.”—Charles Belfoure, New York Times–bestselling author of The Fallen Architect
“A reader always recognizes when the author has poured her soul into a body of work. [This] is a tender, beautifully written second novel.”—Ann Hite, author of the Black Mountain series