Saturday, June 07, 2008

Jessie's Mountain

Madden, Kerry. 2008. Jessie's Mountain.

I liked the first Maggie Valley novel, Gentle's Holler (2005); I loved the second Maggie Valley novel, Louisiana's Song (2007); I really really loved the third novel in the series, Jessie's Mountain. My expectations were high. Really high. Yet somehow it surpassed them, my expectations that is. It was so beautifully done. I just love Livy Two Weems and her family. Even Grandma Horace is beginning to grow on me--much more than I ever thought she would when I first met her. The novels, in case you're not familiar with them, are set in North Carolina, in the mountains, during the early 1960s. (Jessie's Mountain opens in December of 1963.) There is so much depth, so much love, so much meaning in the pages. The Weems family has to be one of my favorite fictional families ever. The family is large, yet, it seems right. The siblings might seem confusable at first glance, but they're not.

Livy is our narrator, and this is her story, her coming-of-age story. The novel's moving force is in the characters and not the action of the plot. The plot is there, mind you, but don't expect a thrilling, adventure story that will have you on the edge of your seat. That is not this novel. It's gentler, subtler. I loved it, absolutely loved it. Definitely recommended. But do read them in order!!!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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