In 1936 in Troublesome Creek, KY lives 19 year old Cussy Carter, who is last female with the rare Blue People Ancestry. She only has her Pa to keep her company so she decides to join the Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky. Riding across the treacherous mountain ranges rain, shine or snow to deliver books to her patrons, she is determined to win them over and show them the amazing information and world that books can bring people. The more she visits and the farther she travels she slowly creates a network of friends. But hardships are part of Cussy's life and even though she makes many gains with her patrons, many people in Troublesome Creek see Cussy as problem, devilish for her blue skin and would stop at nothing to sure her of her "problem".
Now this book may seem like a fantasy to begin with as the main character Cussy, aka Bluet, is blue skinned, but assure you this book is based upon a rare condition known as Argyria and is caused when silver builds up within the body. The skin will appear blue especially the places that get the most sun exposure. Now that we have determined this book is not a fantasy one, I just have to say, I Loved this book. It was a great story centered around Cussy and her just trying to live her life the best she can as a Blue but also trying to spread the amazing ability of reading to those who are unable to get to town to read or need help learning to read. You get to see throughout the book the amount of lives that she touches, changes and how just delivering books, any type of books, she has made those people's lives better, and Cussy relishes each time she is able to achieve this.
Cussy is a beautiful character, strong in both mind and will, she tackles so many obstacles through her life, and only makes herself better for it. Even when she gets beaten or is afraid she gets back on her mule each time she makes sure to get the books to those she knows will bring the people joy. She is selfless throughout the book, and though her Pa may not like it, it is who Cussy is.
This book truly highlights the racism that people experience for being different, and in this case a different color. Cussy is seen as inferior to those around her, and that her blueness must be caused by something unnatural or devilish (this is what one character believes and believes he can beat it out of her). There is heartache after heartache, test after test in this book by the white characters and Cussy's amazing character shines through it all. Honestly, you think more cannot go wrong for her and yet there is always a new low that other people can sink to in order to put people down. Unfortunately, there are many points within this book where the same rhetoric is used today or some of the same beliefs, maybe not toward the Blue people as it is a known medical condition, but towards people of color and visible minorities.
I really enjoyed this book and the story that Richardson weaved with the research she has done on Argyria disease as well as the book providers of this time. I highly recommended this book, it is a amazing story.