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The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson

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Like Kim Michele Richardson’s previous book, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (2019), this book quickly landed on the New York Times best-seller list. It can be read as a stand-alone novel that opens in 1953, sixteen years after the events of the previous book. It takes up the story of Honey Lovett, a teen, after her parents are arrested and jailed for violating the state’s anti-miscegenation laws because her mother, Cussy has methemoglobinemia, giving her skin a blueish tone, a condition very rare even in Knott County, Kentucky, where it has been mostly found. Faced with the threat of being placed in the House of Reform until her 21st birthday, Honey finds allies among characters in the previous book, including a moonshiner, “Devil John,” and elderly Retta as well as new characters including Pearl, a fire lookout, and Bonnie, a coal miner. "In Kim Michele Richardson's beautifully and authentically rendered The Book Woman's Daughter she once again paints a stunning portrait of the raw, somber beauty of Appalachia, the strong resolve of remarkable women living in a world dominated by men, and the power of books and sisterhood to prevail in the harshest circumstances. A critical and profoundly important read for our time. Badassery womanhood at its best!" ― Sara Gruen. "Steeped in an intimate knowledge of the traditions and lore of the region and written with a loving eye to the natural beauty of the landscape, The Book Woman's Daughter is a brilliant and compelling narrative - a powerful portrait of the courageous women who fought against ignorance, misogyny, and racial prejudice." ― William Kent Krueger. The author, Kim Michele Richardson, is no stranger to both Kentucky cruelty and tenderness. She spent the first ten years of her life in Saint Thomas-Saint Vincent Orphan Asylum in Northern Kentucky and then became part of a successful suit against the institution alleging sexual and physical abuse. Her memoir, The Unbreakable Child, recounts that experience as well as homelessness and other experiences. Richardson, now married, still lives in Kentucky, the setting for all her books

New York: Landmark/Sourcebooks, 2022. 334 pages with “A Note from the Author,” “Images from the Pack Horse Library Project,” and “Reading Group Guide.”  Trade paperback.