The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

A Book Report

Cussie is a young woman who lives with her father in the country near the town of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky.  Cussie has blue skin and is verbally abused and shunned by the townsfolk.  Against her father’s objections, she accepts a job as a traveling librarian.  Each weekday, she rides her mule up into the hills of Appalachia to deliver books, magazines, scrapbooks and hope to the families on her route, many of whom don’t know how to read or write. Cussie’s father has lung disease from his work as a coal miner, and in his desire to have her taken care of, he marries Cussie off to an older man who abuses her.  Soon, she is back with her father. Cussie’s life is hard and even dangerous at times.  But she loves her job and is kind and determined to bring some joy to her people.  She has a loving and giving heart. The town doctor believes that he can cure her of her affliction and finally convinces her father to let him do blood tests.  While his cure gives Cussie hope, it does not last. In the end, Cussie finds love but circumstances and ignorance block her happiness for a time. This is a historical work of fiction.  I learned much from reading it.  The “blue people of Kentucky” were new to me.  Google gave me a good understanding of this large extended family which because of being isolated socially, married within themselves and carried on the gene, Cussie believed that she was the last of the blue people. I also learned about the traveling library which was a program initiated by President and Mrs. Roosevelt to bring education to the poor people of Kentucky.  It was a successful endeavor.   Do open up a book.  You will be entertained and you will learn as well.  

Joan Perlich, for the Library team.