This novel, named for the Kansas state motto, reflects well what women at the turn of the 20th century experienced in bringing Carnegie libraries to their hometowns.
The story is told in three voices—that of a researcher working on a Ph.D in library science and focusing on Carnegie libraries, a troubled young woman who leaves New York City to trace her roots in the same small Kansas town and takes on a job as artist in residence, and a woman who has lost everything in a devastating tornado one town over.
As the lives of these three women intersect, they find they have a shared love of libraries, particularly the library housed in the art center in their town of New Hope. It is the art center that brings them together and introduces them to the No Guilt Quilters, along with an unlikely group of misfit teens.
As was the case with the women who wrote grants and raised funding for long ago Carnegie libraries, these women soon learn that they, too, can be a powerful force for change when they work together. Expect romance, history, and friendship in this lovely novel that is hard to put down.
United for Libraries Book Club Choices are featured in the The Voice, United for Libraries newsletter, which is sent to members.