The Secret Sense of Wildflower by Susan Gabriel
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 210 (eBook)
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Set in 1940s Appalachia, The Secret Sense of Wildflower tells the story of Louisa May “Wildflower” McAllister whose life has been shaped around the recent death of her beloved father in a sawmill accident. While her mother hardens in her grief, Wildflower and her three sisters must cope with their loss themselves, as well as with the demands of daily survival. Despite these hardships, Wildflower has a resilience that is forged with humor, a love of the land, and an endless supply of questions to God, who she isn't so sure she agrees with. When Johnny Monroe, the town’s teenage ne’er-do-well, sets his sights on Wildflower, she must draw on the strength of her relations, both living and dead, to deal with his threat.
With prose as lush and colorful as the American South, The Secret Sense of Wildflower is powerful and poignant, brimming with energy and angst, humor and hope. In its ability to create a truly original Southern voice, The Secret Sense of Wildflower establishes Gabriel as a thoughtful and powerful Southern writer. My Rating:
This is a coming of age story about Louisa, also known as "Wildflower," who is a young girl dealing with the loss of a parent. She timidly attempts to understand a world where such tragedy can happen. As she begins to navigate her new life, her fragile innocence is again shattered. All is not loss as she she begins to come into her own and learns to face life and all its challenges.
This is a sad read and I usually have a difficult time reading books such as this. However, Ms. Gabriel's writing is quite strong and manages to bring Wildflower's innocence and her strength to life. I immediately attached and became fully invested in her story. I only wished for more light throughout the story. There are hints at the end but as a reader that's gone through the downs, I want to see more of the ups as well. It's only fair really.
Overall, I recommend this beautiful coming-of-age to those who can handle dark issues such as loss and rape.