One Summer Can Change Everything. . .
Fans of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees are invited to taste of Patricia Hickman’s delicious new coming-of-age novel set in an idyllic golf village in the Sandhills of North Carolina.
It’s 1962 but the quiet golf villages of the popular Sandhills seem hardly rattled by the political furor outside the towns’ boundaries. Irish teen dancer Flannery Curry lives in this beautiful setting but feels stuck between two worlds—the one before her family’s tragic accident and the one that beckons her. While her self-identity has shifted drastically, her stepmother Vesta is intent on grooming her as a rising socialite among the community’s elite families.
But out the Currys’ back door is a despised sunflower forest, a towering garden tended by an African American neighbor Flannery calls the “sunflower man.” Even though Vesta forbids any association with this man or his eclectic relatives and guests, Flannery discovers a secret photograph in her deceased sister’s keepsake box—a photo that implies Siobhan entertained a taboo relationship with the people beyond the sunflower forest.
Now driven to know more about the forbidden family Flannery has only watched from her bedroom window, she does the unthinkable and crosses into the sunflower forest. Now she is the one feasting and dancing under the alluring summer moon. To continue in her rebellion threatens to destroy her already fragile home life. But to remain in a state of blankness threatens her identity. How will she choose?
Tiny Dancer is a story of survivor’s guilt and secrecy, a universal story of how humans find meaning in the midst of broken dreams.
Set in Moore County NC in the sixties, the author draws on the real tension between the races to create a story about healing relationships. The main character, Flannery, is a teenager who has to work through difficult relationships with her family, her neighborhood, and her friends. The wisdom and love of a neighboring family who, as the only black family in a white neighborhood, have to endure persecution, give Flannery the courage to face her own demons.
Hickman allows us to feel Flannery’s pain and watch her grow into a wise young woman. It doesn’t descend into the melodramatic or paint a syrupy sweet picture of teenage life; Flannery is a very real character, dealing with real issues, such as death, divorce, step-parents, financial worries, discrimination, and the uncontrollable circumstances of life.
I really enjoyed it, and have to confess I put off doing other things in order to finish it, which is the test of how good a book is. The characters are engaging, the story is fast-moving, and the resolution is satisfying. What more could you ask for in a novel? Another winner from Patricia Hickman!
5.0 out of 5 stars! Summers favorite!
By Happy feet – Amazon Reviewer
This review is from: Tiny Dancer (Kindle Edition)
This was an excellent book. I laughed, I cried and at the end I wanted more. Best book of my summer!