Book of the Month Review – November 2019


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Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Check out all of our reviews of Book Subscription Boxes for more options, too!

About this Box

The Subscription Box: Book of the Month

The Cost: $14.99 a month

The Product: Subscribers get to pick from a selection of hardcover books each month. Skip any month you aren’t interested in. Add up to two additional books for $9.99 each.

Ships to: The US for free

Book of the Month November 2019 Review

This month, subscribers picked from the following 5 books:

I had such a hard time deciding this month because three of the five books really appealed to me after reading the synopsis and excerpts. The Family Upstairs and The Great Pretender both sounded so interesting, but since I have read books from this author before and enjoyed them, I went with a safe choice and will be reviewing Jojo Moyes’ The Giver of Stars. 

The Giver of Stars: A Novel by Jojo Moyes – Retail Value $28.00 (found here for $16.80)

How pretty is this cover?

Book Summary from Amazon:

Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England.  But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

When Alice meets Bennett Van Cleve she is flattered by his interest in her and filled with excitement at the prospect of them getting married and moving all the way from her home in England to build a new life together in America. When she arrives in Baileysville, Kentucky, which is not quite the big American city she dreamed of, she realizes that her marriage and the family she’s married into are not quite what they seem. The harder she tries to fit in and make her marriage work, the more depressed she becomes. When she hears of the town’s need for a traveling librarian, she volunteers her time and begins to find a purpose and a little enjoyment in her life through the people she delivers books to and the fellow librarian women she befriends. As her marriage falls apart and she finds herself under the thumb of her cruel and greedy father-in-law, the blame gets put on Margery, who has been the only true friend she’s found and soon Mr. Van Cleve Sr. finds a way to bring her down. While I haven’t quite finished this yet, I am positive that good will prevail in the end and if the rest of the book is any indicator, it will be a satisfactory ending!

This book was such a great tale of women who became feminists simply because they dared to stand up to the men around them. Not only is it about their struggle as women, but it’s a real tale of humanity as we learn about how Van Cleve suppresses other groups in his quest for power and riches. This story is filled with heart and had so many feel-good moments throughout which are made stronger by the way Moyes describes her characters and their lives. Your sense of empathy is heightened as you travel with these women and see how their bringing of books and stories to the people around them enriches their lives. This book still has some romance throughout, but the focus is on the friendship between these special women and how they are fighting for their place among men who are keen to use their fists to put them where they think they belong. I really enjoyed this story Moyes created full of strong, likable characters and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a feel-good story about women who aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves!

Each month, Book of the Month includes a bookmark.

If you picked this book this month, please let me know what you think of it!

Verdict: My Book of the Month pick was a piece of historical fiction that took place in the 1930s and focused on a group of traveling librarians who brought so much joy to those they visited. I am already a fan of Jojo Moyes’ work, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a historical piece, but she is an excellent storyteller and I found myself engaged in this one from the very start thanks to the strong characters she created. I’m pretty happy with my pick!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this book if you sign up today? No, but it may be available as an add-on next month!

Check out all of our Book of the Month reviews and see what other book subscriptions made our favorites list!

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Finding new products to test out and possibly fall in love with has always excited her. Now, as a mother of 3, she loves discovering new products that can help make parenting a little easier! Her favorites are FabFitFun and Target Baby boxes.

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