This book brings to mind a word that I hate to use. It's one of those words that I aways see in book or movie reviews and gag a little bit and turn away. And I liked this book! Yet when I turn this book over in my head, that is the word that keeps popping out. The word is heartwarming.
This is the story of a little girl with a few mysteries in her family. Her father is gone - still alive but never came back from the war after WW2. She lives with her mother's family, who really hate her dad and don't want her to talk to any of his relatives.
It's not exactly hard to guess that Willa Mae's dad comes back and eventually takes her to live with him. They go to a city and even though she enjoys part of it and likes to help her dad with his business, she misses her family and school.
Mostly I enjoyed the descriptions of rural life in the 40s, cooking big Sunday dinners, deciding whether or not to get hooked up to the new electricity coming their way, decorating the graveyard on memorial day, sewing dresses, going to the general store. The author grew up in the time period and are she writes about and does a great job of conveying the atmosphere.
There are differences in the families, for instance her mother's family are very religious teetotalers and her father's family likes a little homemade wine with their meals. I kept expecting some big pivotal fight about this but none came.
I would recommend this book to the younger end of the young adult reading spectrum and to adults who want a quick enjoyable happy read. I think it would also be a good movie.