Eleven-year-old Glory Bea believes in miracles.
She’s convinced that her beloved father, missing in action since D-Day, more than four years ago, is about to return home. Her small Texas town will play host to a Merci Train boxcar filled with gifts from those in France who were grateful for American help in the desperate period immediately after the war. Glory Bea’s belief in her father’s return is strengthened when his best friend arrives for a visit and then begins to court her mom. Even as she does whatever she can to thwart their very unwelcome growing relationship, she struggles to serve as matchmaker for her two best friends, ever loyal Ben and shy, slightly hapless Ruby Jane. Although her warm, loving grandparents, mother, and both friends support Glory Bea, it pushes credibility that she sustains such an implausible delusion so long after the loss of her father. The depiction of the flavor of a small town is nicely managed, but the only reminder of the Texas setting is the rare insertion of the contraction “Y’all,” more jarring in its infrequent occurrences than convincingly evocative of dialect. Even if not fully believable, this effort still provides a heartening, feel-good ending.
A tender story of grief and the gentle comfort of loved ones. (Historical fiction. 9-12)