From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—Annie, almost 10, and her pregnant mother are spending the summer of 1963 with Annie's grandparents on their North Carolina farm. Then the long-awaited baby is born prematurely and dies the following day. Annie is devastated and doesn't know how to deal with her grief. Her Air Force father is currently stationed in Germany, and her mother sinks into a deep depression and withdraws from the family. Avoiding the house, Annie often explores the nearby woods where she meets an elderly woman who becomes her friend and confidant. Miss Eliza is living in a shack that belongs to an individual who, according to local legend, was sent to prison years earlier for murdering her husband. Before long, Miss Eliza shares the story of her past with Annie, who continues their friendship despite the community's negative attitudes. Gradually, with the help of Miss Eliza and her supportive grandparents, Annie begins to accept her sister's death, but it takes Annie's near-death experience with a swarm of yellow jackets to pull her mother back to reality. The characters and setting are finely drawn and the author has an acute sense of how time seems to pass more slowly for children than adults. The love of family members for one another is heartwarming. A well-written and enjoyable novel.—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
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About the Author
Edith M. Hemingway
has coauthored two Civil War novels. This is her first solo novel. She lives in Frederick, Maryland.