Along a Storied Trail By Ann H. Gabhart
4 stars. Thanks to Revell, a division of Baker publishing, for sending me this book to read and review.
I love stories that incorporate history into fiction (AKA Historical Fiction... Just kidding, but not). I even more so love when I learn something about history I didn't know about. A few years ago I was introduced to the history lesson of packhorse librarians by Kim Michele Richardson's book The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Since that book I feel like there has been explosion of stories about these brave women- pack horse librarians.
This book follows Tansy Calhoun who is throughout the book the main "breadwinner" for her family. Her father has "left" the family for work and Tansy was able to get a job as a pack horse librarian. She loves books and loves encouraging and introducing reading to those on her library route. This story is mainly about her, but some may argue it is also about Perdita Sweet- Aunt Perdie- the widower who whittles musings out of wood. Aunt Perdie and Tansy are brought together physically when Aunt Perdie's house burns to the ground due to a ill functioning chimney. Aunt Perdie not only moves in, but she brings a long some baggage with her (sorry can't say more as I really hate when people spoil stories).
This story highlights both Tansy and Aunt Perdie's daily lives, desire for being purposeful, and also them both figuring out their love lives with men they have known and one that recently entered the picture.
I appreciated that you got a glimpse of this Kentucky mountain living while being introduced to packhorse librarian career. I enjoyed that Tansy and Aunt Perdie stayed true to themselves throughout the story. A quick, easy , perfect summer read.