It is 1940 in New
York City when a tragedy sends precocious twelve-year-old Louisa Mae Cardinal
and her little brother, Oz, to live with their invalid mother on their
great-grandmother’s farm in the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia. Suddenly
Lou finds herself coming of age in a new landscape, making her first true
friend, and experiencing adventures tragic, comic, and audacious. But the
forces of greed and justice are about to clash over her new home, and as their
struggle is played out in a crowded Virginia courtroom, it will determine the
future of two children, an entire town, and the mountains they love.
The story is told
with both heartbreaking elegance and large doses of touching humor as the lives
of Lou and Oz are changed forever. The portraits of the land and its people are
described with an extraordinary eye for detail, and the story flows through
swells of prejudice, innocence, faith, and the question of whether one can ever
really wish another well. The climactic courtroom battle is as unpredictable as
it is relentless.
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