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Friday, November 11, 2011

A Month of Sundays, written by Ruth White. Farrar Straus Giroux, Douglas & McIntyre. 2011. $18.95 ages 10 and up

"Yes, I know what I will be leaving behind. I will miss Silver most of all. But I'll miss Aunt June too, and Poppy, and sweet little Avery. I'll also miss Mitzi, and Uncle Otis and Emory, even this puke green house. It's like a live character in my drama. I always knew, didn't I? Yeah, I knew it was not forever. It was temporary. But once I began to like it here, I acted like this was my real home, and it's not."

Life has always been Garnet and her mom. And, it's been hard for them. She doesn't know her father; she only knows that he left with a carnival singer. He has not been in her life at all, nor has his family. So, when her mother decides that Florida holds the key to job security and a better life, Garnet is 'dumped' with her father's sister and her family...just until her mother finds a job and sends for her.

Garnet is hurt and angry. She is determined that she will not like spending the summer with people she does not know. Her arrival is met with some surprise. It seems Aunt June knew she would not be welcome and didn't want to tell her family that Garnet was coming. However, Aunt June couldn't be more open and inviting. She is delighted to have Garnet with them, and tells her stories about her father. Even Poppy (her grandfather) comes to meet her, and he stays to help out. As Garnet gets to know the family, she finds herself drawn into their warmth and humanity. She meets caring neighbors and begins to love where she is.

Garnet goes to a new church each Sunday with her Aunt June, who is looking for something she believes a church can offer. It doesn't take long before Garnet discovers that her aunt has terminal cancer, and she is looking for a higher power to help heal her. At one of the church services, Garnet meets Silver. He is the son of the preacher, and a youth preacher himself. Finally, she has someone to talk with and tell her troubles.

It is a summer when she learns a lot about family, and about life.

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