Hilmo creates a family, a town and a mystery that readers won’t soon forget.
In July of 1957, the Love family rolls into the tiny town of Binder, Ark. Reverend Everlasting Love, his wife Susanna and their daughters Olivene (called Ollie), Martha, Gwen, Camille and Ellen set up camp so Reverend Love can preach for three evenings before they load it all up again and head to the next small town down the road. Such is the life of an itinerant preacher’s family. But there is something different about Binder, Ark., something strange enough to cause the family to stay a while longer. Ollie meets a boy named Jimmy, whose mother is in jail for killing his brutish father. Jimmy insists she didn’t do it, but everyone else in town is convinced she did. Poor Jimmy could certainly use a friend. The Love family, particularly Ollie, cannot abide the injustice, but what can they possibly do to help? And just how long will they stay in Binder, anyway? There is, after all, a boarded-up church in the center of town needing a preacher, and Ollie, for one, would sure love to stay put for a good long while. Hilmo relishes her small-town setting and develops her characters with affection. Readers will become caught up in events as firmly as Ollie is.A story about the meaning of home, justice and love, beautifully told. (Historical fiction. 9-12)