©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me

Alice-Ann has loved Boyd MacKay (Mack) since she can remember, and on the night of her birthday party, she's going to tell him she loves him. Except on the night of her birthday party, news flashes on the radio that Pearl Harbor has been bombed. All the young men of Bynum, Georgia, decide to go enlist--at least the ones who are fit do. Alice-Ann promises to write to Mack frequently and has him write to her in care of her best friend, Maeve. She is faithful to write until his letters stop coming. After about a year or so after the letters stop, Mack has been declared dead. As soon as school is out, she gets a job at the bank, which is right across the street from Maeve's family's five and dime store. Maeve comes busting into the bank one day to tell Alice-Ann that her brother has been injured in Europe, is home, and pretty despondent because he cannot see or walk. Then Maeve asks Alice-Ann to come over and read to Carlton, just to keep him company.

Eva Marie Everson tells captivating stories that lure the readers in, waggles them about, and doesn't let them go until they are good and ready. I loved This Fine Life, and the Pot-Luck Sisters series, but The One True Love of Alice-Ann is by far the most exquisite story she's told. She has told the narrative mostly through Alice-Ann's eyes, and I can relate so well to the struggles Alice-Ann has about herself, because they are the same struggles I have about me, down to the front tooth overlapping the other. The way Eva Marie built Alice-Ann and Carlton's friendship is so quietly superb that the love that grows between them seems organic rather than forced.

But, the book isn't just about Carlton's and Alice-Ann's relationship, it's about Alice-Ann coming of age during a war, it's about Alice-Ann coming to terms with her brother's wife and then actually becoming friends, it's about Alice-Ann growing up without a mother but feeling ignored by her father, and it's about her relationship with her father's sister, Aunt Bess. There is so much life that is lived day to day through-out the book, the reader feels at home reading it. This is a Five Star, Two Thumbs Up book, with time spent with a wounded soldier.

My Thanks to Tyndale House for allowing me to read and review this book.

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