Set in 1958, in Graham Camp, Texas, a small "town" set up for the workers of the local petroleum company. Life should be good but young Sammie Tucker doesn't understand her mother's "nerve problems" or why her mother rarely gets out of bed or lives in her housecoat. When her mother is sent away for shock treatments this twelve year old life changes forever.
She doesn't know who she can trust, who she can talk to or how to deal with all the feelings she is having. Her best friend "knows" and has an opinion on everything. A new boy moves to town from California but has a lot of his own baggage. The woman next door is always there for Sammie with a hug and there is an older man that is very understanding but he has some secrets of his own. One of Sammie's teachers tries to get her to open up but Sammie doesn't know much she can really share. She does know that her aunt is up to no good and Sammie doesn't not trust her at all.
She questions her mother's love and while dealing with all the normal adolescent growing issues she has to face some very adult things that no child should have to deal with.
When I first started reading this book I thought it was a young adult coming-of age story. Well before the end of the first chapter I knew I was wrong about that. This is a story with a real adult issue, depression, seen through the eyes of a wonderful twelve year old. Back in the 50's it was called "nerve problems" and shock treatments with horrendous side effects were the treatment.
Carla Stewart has written a heart breaking and heart warming novel that will stick with you long past the final word. It is so well written you feel invested in Sammie's life immediately and find yourself wishing you could climb into the pages and help her through the rocky journey she is taking.
This is marketed as Christian Fiction but it has a very subtle Christian references so if that type of fiction is not your genre don't let it keep you from reading this wonderful story. Take some time to stop and smell the lilacs.
This is definitely an author to watch, she has a voice that tells tough stories with passion. I can't wait to read her next novel Broken Wings. Find out more at Carla's web page.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are entirely my own. I am stating this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255. "Guides Concerning Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising"