Nameless, Kentucky, in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact--just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can wipe out a tobacco field in days. RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some. Her God-fearing uncle, Gunnar, has a short fuse and high expectations, but he's given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five. Yet now, a month shy of her sixteenth birthday, RubyLyn itches for more. Maybe it's something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk, each covered with beautifully wrought, prophetic drawings. Or perhaps it's because of Rainey Ford, an African-American neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field, and with whom she has a kinship, despite her uncle's worrisome shadow and the town's disapproval. RubyLyn's predictions are just wishful thinking, not magic at all, but through them she's imagining life as it could be, away from the prejudice and hardship that ripple through Nameless. Atmospheric, poignant, and searingly honest, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field follows RubyLyn through the course of one blazing summer, as heartbreaking revelations and life-changing decisions propel her toward a future her fortunetellers never predicted.
This novel has been receiving rave reviews and it is no surprise why. Everything about it is fascinating, from the setting to the complex and ever-evolving characters, to the beauatiful prose and emotional atmosphere. A heart-wrencher, a tear-jerker, a emotional roller coaster, this book kept me enthralled from the first to the very last page. It is a coming of age tale about a young girl/woman who lives in extreme poverty and horribly harsh conditions in Kentucky during the late 1960's. Throughout it all, her dreams and perseverance prevail--to teach us all a lesson about overcoming adversity. I highly recommend this book, especially for book clubs! Utterly lovely!
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.