In the summer of 1952, 10-year-old Blue finds that her “real mama” isn't the one who abandoned her when she was 2 days old, but the strong woman who raised her on a farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.
Kinsey-Warnock returns to the world she has lovingly described earlier in such titles as From Dawn Till Dusk (2002). On Hannah’s old-fashioned farm, milking and haying are done by hand. Tourists at the nearby lake find farming tasks “relaxing,” but Blue and Hannah, now in her 70s, consider them plain hard work. The book opens with Blue waiting not only for her “real mother,” but also for the return of her best friend, a regular summer visitor named Nadine. But Nadine, nearly 12, has developed new interests and an unfamiliar mean streak. She even makes fun of Raleigh, a brain-damaged adult who does odd jobs around their supportive small town. Nadine’s family, which Blue had once envied, is falling apart. For Blue, the summer brings a new understanding of what it means to be family and an appreciation for her own life, as well as answers to some mysterious disappearances—both animals and people—and the development of a talent for writing.
Blue’s first-person voice is believable and her growth convincing in this satisfying family and friendship story—with a perfect cover to boot. (Historical fiction. 9-12)