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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Coker makes an impressive debut—she’s only 15—in this Depression and WWII-era tale of Alcyone Everly, who is 14 when her mother dies of brain cancer. Allie is adopted by a woman in Maine, Beatrice Lovell, and vigorously resists her adoptive mother’s kindnesses, clinging bitterly to the memory of her mother. The past re-enters her life in the form of Sam Carroll, an old friend from her childhood home whose aunt lives next door to Beatrice and Allie. Sam has always been sweet on Allie, and his reappearance stirs many unwanted and confusing emotions in her. World events seize the day as the U.S. gets caught up in WWII, altering everyone’s lives. Coker writes an emotionally compelling and psychologically nuanced tale. The plot has some weak spots: Allie manages to overhear not one but two crucial incidents that give her unexpected information, and some of her character development late in the story is abrupt. But the historical context is an engaging narrative frame. Coker is one to watch. Ages 15–up. (Mar.) ■