DOVEY COE by Frances O’Roark Dowell

DOVEY COE

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Proud mountainfolk, the Coe family has resided in Indian Creek, North Carolina, since 1844. Joe Coe fixes electrical appliances; 12-year-old Dovey and 13-year-old Amos collect healing herbs to sell. Dovey's older sister, Caroline, is a rare beauty who has dreams of escaping small-town life. Their tranquil home life is threatened when Parnell Caraway, son of the richest man in town, sets his sights on Caroline. He is so determined to marry her and destroy her dreams of becoming a teacher that he forces her hand at a send-off party in her honor and faces public humiliation as a result. Unable to handle rejection, Parnell locks up the Coe's dog in revenge, forcing Dovey to retrieve it and to witness its brutal murder. She tries to stop it and is attacked by Parnell. When she awakens from the beating, Parnell is dead at her side and she is falsely accused of murder. Assigned an inexperienced district attorney, Dovey has to solve the murder herself or face imprisonment. In the end, she is spared the injustice of being sent to a girls’ detention center; Caroline owns up to the fact that her flirtations with Parnell have caused this disastrous result; and Amos reveals to his sister that he, in fact, killed Parnell to spare her additional abuse at his hands. Dovey’s fresh, clear voice in southern dialect cuts through the social behavior of the locale and time period to speak the truth, which all of the other older and wiser characters refuse to see. This fabulously feisty heroine will win your heart. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-83174-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2000




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