“Complex and daring.... One of those books that readers wish had a sequel.” -Jane Smiley on Jetta Carleton’s The Moonflower Vine
The time: 1941, at the cusp of America’s entry into World War II. The place: southwest Missouri, on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. A young single woman named Allen Liles has taken a job as a junior college teacher in a small town, although she dreams of living in New York City, of dancing at recitals, of absorbing the bohemian delights of the Village. Then she encounters two young men: George, a lanky, carefree spirit, and Toby, a dark-haired, searching soul with a wary look in his eyes. Soon the three strike up an after-school friendship, bantering and debating over letters, ethics, and philosophy - innocently at first, but soon in giddy flirtation - until Allen and one of the young men push things too far, and the quiet happiness she has struggled so hard to discover is thrown into jeopardy.
“Arriving nearly 50 years after her bestselling debut, The Moonflower Vine, Carleton’s second novel is a witty and romantic portrait of a young Midwestern woman coming to grips with adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Evocative … Fine and dry, with a faint flavor of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Carleton’s vignette of innocence and experience has a bright wit and perceptive charm, rendered all the more enjoyable by its retro feel.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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