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Publisher's Summary

Haunted by her sister's mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.  

Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?  

As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn't expected: love.  

Inspired by the true events of the Moonlight Schools, this stand-alone novel from best-selling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously. You'll finish the last moment of this enthralling story with deep gratitude for the gift of reading.

©2021 Suzanne Woods Fisher (P)2021 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Moonlight School

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EXCELLENT STORY TELLING!

Beautifully written story of love for Almighty God, people and learning. Even more appealing knowing that it is based on factual events! This story winds from a city in Kentucky to rural communities and up into the mountains.

3 people found this helpful

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A delight!

It was a joy to read this story about changes in illiteracy and the people who were the “fighters” for adult literacy in rural areas. This story helped me to imagine and feel what it must’ve been like for “poor folk” or underprivileged of the time to experience the delight and satisfaction of learning to just write their name.
The author did a great job bringing something we don’t think about often to light.

It certainly helps change our/my perspective on things that can still exist and the empathy necessary to try and understand

I definitely recommend this book

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Fine historical fiction, engaging storytelling

The storyteller takes you along a backwoods journey of early 20th century Kentucky populated with both real characters and believable supporting fictional characters. The story is of brightening of the darkness cast by illiteracy in Appalachia and of the places and people there.

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Great story, briefly political

This is an entertaining rendition of the telling of factual information mixed with fictional characters and situations. It is well written and moves quickly. I was dismayed and surprised toward the end when it contained a brief, distinctly political turn. It wouldn't have been bad if she hadn't misrepresented and mocked one side—that she may not understand—while glorifying the other side. I hate when one side arrogantly thinks they have it all right and demeans the other side as foolish. Additionally, Christian fiction writers necessarily weave into their stories interactions with God, giving the illusion that God's true will was portrayed in the story. I really disagreed with one part that had the main character questioning whether it was right to change another character's circumstances—as if the circumstances were inferior—when the whole story is about pushing to change these people's circumstances because outsiders felt the circumstances were inferior. The conclusion robbed the person of making their own choice. Disappointing. All in all it was a good story well written.

The narrator is not my favorite. I don’t think she worked hard enough on her accents, and one character's voice and a few repeated words were odd. It wasn't terrible and I would listen to it again.

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Delightful

Though the topic of illiteracy is serious, I often found myself smiling or chuckling at the characters interactions. Today we take for granted our educational opportunities. This story gives us a glimpse into the struggles our ancestors faced from be taken advantage of because of the lack of literacy to simply the opportunity to learn basic reading skills. What a fine model of determination Cora is.

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love the truth

I felt as I was there even though only some is true, I could see it play out in around about way as thought I was one of the people.

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Southern accent laid on too thick

This story is very interesting and enjoyable, but the narrator's voices for the men is too slow and too thick southern-ease, in my opinion. I'm southern, and I've heard southern spoken in several southern states, but the men only use this kind of thick accents in antebellum Charleston or Virginia. The women's voices are better.

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dazed and confused

3.5 stars..
I was invested in this story but a lot of other nonsense happens before the book really focuses on Lucy and Cora starting up the adult moonlight schools. like, it's only about the last 3 chapters that the real story takes place. Sure, the character development is great and I liked the other parts of the story, I was just confused and curious about the blurb cuz the things happening weren't really matching up. Then the last few chapters happened, and they happened quick, and then I was just left sort of dazed.. if that makes sense? idk.. not quite 4 stars but better than 3 is my final rating

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Fantastic historical novel!

I love reading Suzanne's stories. Engaging from the first page. Meaningful and full of grace.