A Gathering of Days Author:Joan W. Blos On Sunday, Oct. 17, 1830, Catherine Cabot Hall, aged 13 years, 6 months, 29 days, receives a journal from her father which she keeps for the next year and five months. Catherine lives on a farm at Meredith, NH, with her father Charles and seven-year-old sister Mary Martha, known as Matty. The girls' mother Hannah had died some four years before ... more »along with their baby brother Nathaniel. Catherine's best friend is Cassie Shipman, who lives on a farm just to the south with her parents and three brothers David, Asa, and little Willie. The book actually begins with a letter dated Nov. 20, 1899, and sent by Catherine Hall Onesti, now living in Providence, RI, to her namesake great-granddaughter on her fourteenth birthday accompanying the journal as a present.
The journal records the daily lives and special events of Cassie, her family, and friends, such as going to school, attending church services, cooking the food which is Catherine's job following the death of her mother, celebrating holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and other such activities. Catherine sees what appears to be a phantom in the woods and later, after losing her copybook outside, finds it again with the message "PLEEZ MISS TAKE PITTY I AM COLD." So she and Cassie secretly leave one of the old quilts that Catherine's mother had made for this person. Was it an apprentice who had run away, or perhaps an escaped slave? Also Catherine's father comes back from getting supplies in Boston, MA, with a new wife and her son Daniel. How will Catherine get along with her step-mother and step-brother? Then Cassie becomes seriously ill. What will happen to her? Also Cassie's Aunt Lucy arrives for an extended visit and catches the eye of the local teacher, Mr. Edward Holt. After they eventually marry and move to Exeter, they want Catherine to come stay with them to help take care of their new baby. What will Catherine do?« less