The Librarian\'s Journey

The Librarian’s Journey Review

The Librarian’s Journey is a multi-author collection of historical novels inspired by the traveling librarians of the Great Depression.

Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey

Living in the Ozark Mountains during the Depression was tough. So when Grace Billings gets the chance to work as a traveling librarian, she jumped at the chance. So what if the handsome new teacher Anthony Lawrence thinks it’s a job better suited for a man?

This was a sweet story showing how the love of books and storytellers can be the catalyst to unite people. It also showed there are some people who are always willing to take advantage of others in spite of the circumstances.

I liked how the romance between Anthony and Grace unfolded as they served their community. Readers will be reminded that God is always with them, working things out for their good.

For Such a Time by Patty Smith Hall

When Ruth Sims lost her job as a nurse in an Atlanta hospital and has to return home, she doesn’t understand why. Especially she has to work with Will Munroe, the man who had broken her heart six years earlier.

As a traveling librarian, Ruth finds ways to use her skills as a nurse to serve her small mountain community. Working with her, Will is also able to use his gifts to serve the children of Pine Mountain.
The banter between Ruth and Will was fun and both of them had to make adjustments as they accommodated the gifting and choices of the other person.

This second-chance romance was a reminder that God’s timing is perfect and that His plan doesn’t always align with ours.

Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk

When Lily Bee Davis is offered the job as a traveling librarian, she jumps at the chance. As someone who loved books, she was excited about the chance to share that opportunity with others.

Lamar Stewart was a former concert pianist who had become reclusive after his wife died. His young daughter was isolated because of his unwillingness to interact with other people.

It was obvious that Lily Bee loved her job, and the people were receptive to the service that she provided as a traveling librarian.

I liked watching Lily Bee’s interactions with the people on her route and with Evie but didn’t really feel that there was enough contact between herself and Lamar to justify a romance.

Still, this was a clean, sweet read that will remind readers that God is always listening and always has a plan.

The Librarian and the Lawman by Kathleen Y’Barbo

When Clay confesses his love for Lottie at age seventeen and expresses a desire to court her, she knew things wouldn’t work out. Her family had secrets that could destroy everything. When they meet again ten years later, things are different but will these two have a second chance?

I liked Lottie’s determination to not let fear rule her life and her willingness to believe that God would protect her. Clay’s passion for his job and his desire to protect Lottie were sweet.

The Librarian and the Lawman is a second-chance romance with a hint of mystery. The focus of the story was more on uncovering the mystery than showcasing the romance, but you’ll still get a sense of how the characters felt about each other.

Readers will be reminded that God has a plan for their lives, but it will unfold in His timing and not theirs.

Overall Review of The Librarian’s Journey

It was interesting to learn about these brave women who traveled into the potentially dangerous hill country to deliver books to those who wouldn’t have had access otherwise.

I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.

Purchase The Librarian’s Journey on Amazon

About The Librarian’s Journey

A brave fight for literacy during the Great Depression

Four women set out on horseback to bring the library to remote communities

Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, which funded the Pack Horse Library Initiative. Ride along with four book-loving women who bravely fight for literacy in remote communities during the Great Depression by carrying library books via horseback. Will their efforts be rewarded by finding love in the process?

Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey
1935, Ozark Mountains
Grace Billings jumped at the chance to be a traveling librarian, but she didn’t anticipate the long days of work, the intense poverty, or the handsome new schoolteacher whose love for the mountain people surpasses even her own.

For Such a Time by Patty Smith Hall
1936, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Forced out of her nursing job due to budget cuts, Ruth Sims applies for a position with the Pack Horse Library incentive, only to discover she must go to the one place she swore never to return. The children instantly steal her heart with their thirst for books, and she’s happy in her post until she meets their teacher, Will Munroe—the man who broke her heart. 

Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk
1936, Mississippi
Forced out of her comfort zone, Lily Bee Davis travels by horse or boat taking books to remote areas. When she meets little Evie and her reclusive father at a dilapidated plantation house, she is drawn by their losses and longs to draw them out into life again. 

The Librarian and the Lawman by Kathleen Y’Barbo
1936, Kentucky
Lottie Trent connects with a backwoods bully’s wife by secretly carrying messages for her in exchange for books. FBI agent Clayton Turnbow is on the trail of a criminal gang and discovers the packhorse librarian maybe a key member. 

About the Authors

PATTY SMITH HALL is an award-winning, multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical and Heartsong/Harlequin.  She currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter and is active on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. She calls North Georgia her home which she shares with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Visit her website at 

Cynthia Hickey grew up in a family of storytellers and moved around the country a lot as an army brat. Her desire is to write about real, but flawed characters in a wholesome way that her seven children and nine grandchildren can all be proud of. She and her husband live in Arizona where Cynthia is a full-time writer.

Award-winning author Marilyn Turk writes historical fiction usually set on the shoreline of the United States. Marilyn is a lighthouse enthusiast. She and her husband have traveled to over 100 lighthouses and climbed most of them. In addition, they served as volunteer lighthouse caretakers at Little River Light on an island off the coast of Maine.

Lighthouses always show up in her books, either as part of the setting or in cameo appearances, and on her lighthouse blog at Her book, Lighthouse Devotions, features inspiring true stories about lighthouses. When not climbing or writing about lighthouses, Marilyn enjoys gardening, boating, fishing and tennis.

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

To find out more about Kathleen or connect with her through social media, check out her website at

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