Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Nanci Turner Steveson
Magnolia Grace (Maggie) and her mother are forced to move from Atlanta to a small town in Vermont. On her estranged, deceased father’s farm, Maggie comes to know her father and what he meant to the town. Maggie also comes to love Vermont and its lack of “Georgia rules” while her mother dislikes small-town living and cannot wait to move in a year. As Maggie learns to love Vermont and her new friends, she is determined to stay in Vermont despite arguments with her mother. Through all the tension, she and her mother eventually resolve their differences and grow closer.
The author caters to the old fashioned, media stereotype of Southern culture. The overly southern accents are combined with an inaccurate portrayal of a southern girl and her mother. While the first few chapters contain old fashioned southern characterizations, Steveson leaves all of this behind as Maggie adopts Virginia living. The story turns into an amazing tale of family, growing up, and love. Maggie’s mother, Delilah, is as important a character as Maggie in her growth. She becomes a responsible, caring parent, as opposed to the selfish, immature woman she is at the start of the story. Thick with emotion and great writing, this story is an amazing narrative of life and love.
*Contains mild violence.