PHOEBE SNOW by Elizabeth Hall


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Here's a heroine whose comic adventures have style and stamina. First met posing as her mother for the new preacher, Lucy Snow has her heart set on the Louisiana Purchase Centennial in St. Louis (1904) but rumors of rowdies make her parents renege and substitute Clarksville Aunt Amy instead. In between the decision and her departure, Lucy snags more of mother's possessions to carry out a greater imposture: she'll go to St. Louis as Phoebe Snow, the Lackawanna railroad's white-dressed advertisement for clean coal (""Phoebe Snow, dressed in white,/ Rides the Road of Anthracite""). She's imaginative for fourteen but she can't foresee all the potential slip-ups, and the fun is watching her improvise. She gets some help from a hustling lemonade and peanut seller (who periodically empties the free water cooler to boost his sales) but mostly she's on her own: eating non-drop meals while the train is in motion; delivering a few polite words to an audience hastily arranged at one stop; greeting an even larger reception in St. Louis by delicately tripping across the platform--and into a mud puddle. By then her RR-employed relatives have figured out her plan and meet her in St. Louis, and she does get scolded before they go to the fair grounds. A Snow job to remember with a grin.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1968
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin