TOBY, GRANNY, AND GEORGE by Robbie Branscum


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More shootin' and scratchin' in those Arkansas hills that spawned the earthier Johnny May (1975) and Me and Jim Luke (1971). First ole Minnie Lou Jackson is drowned getting baptized and the church is split down the middle over whether the blame lies with Granny's friend Preacher Davis (who almost drowned too when 380-pound Minnie pulled him down on top of her) or with fat Deacon Treat who'd refused to have the baptizing hole dug deeper. Then the Deacon is mysteriously shot and his baby disappears. . . whereupon the rest of his family, now able to eat their share at table, grow fat and happy. It's 13-year-old Toby, a neighbor, who figures out that kind, mute Johnny Joe Treat shot his (step) father for beating the baby; simultaneously Toby solves the mystery of her own parentage, discovering that the Granny who's brought her up from a foundling is her own granny after all. Toby, who's also busy working and trading (hens, a cow) so the two of them can eat, has that now familiar, but still fetching, Branscum pluck, her tone is as rugged and matter-of-fact as her hand-me-down bib overalls, and as you'd expect, Branscum and Rounds make a right fine pair.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday