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Publisher's Summary

It is 1940 and a tragedy sends Lou and her little brother, Oz, along with their invalid mother, from New York City to the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia to live with their great-grandmother. The story is told with both heartbreaking elegance and large doses of touching humor as the lives of Lou and Oz are changed forever. The portraits of the land and its people are described with an extraordinary eye for detail, and the story flows through swells of prejudice, innocence, faith, and the question of whether one can ever really wish another well. The climactic courtroom battle is as unpredictable as it is relentless and will not only decide the fates of Lou, Oz, and their mother, but also those they have touched.
©2000 Columbus Rose, Ltd (P)2000 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Richly textured." (Library Journal)
"Baldacci triumphs with his best novel yet, an utterly captivating drama." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John on 06-07-07

Not your usual Baldacci

Those of you who are expecting the usual David Baldacci novel are going to be very happily surprised or incredibly disappointed. This is such a huge departure from his regular fare that I almost thought I had downloaded the wrong book. Thank goodness I was wrong and kept listening.

While I very much enjoy Baldacci at his normal best, this novel was a whole new look at what a fine author can do with simple storytelling.

You are transported to the hills of Virginia and literally plopped into the lives of Lou and Oz, two displaced New York children who, along with their invalid mother, are suddenly made to exist in a world so different from what they know that you wonder if they have any hope of adjusting.

Entwined throughout the slowly developed plot are descriptions of Virginia mountain life that are so real you can feel the morning mist rolling down the mountainside. I found myself repeatedly stopping what I was doing and losing myself in the moment. It was almost a shock to my system to come back to reality and realize that I could live there (indeed it felt as if I had, so real are the pictures painted by the author).

The narrator has an almost hypnotic affect on you, something she probably found easy to do given the material she was reading - not to diminish her abilities as she has a very pleasant voice and is very articulate. She made the story seem almost Waltonesque.

All in all, it was a most pleasant experience and deserves high marks for both author and narrator. I had the pleasure of leaving reality for a while, enjoying an alternate existence and returning to my life a bit happier than when I left. Can you ask more of a story teller?

And lest you think the story is simplistic, rest assured, the ending is awesome, the buildup to it enthralling and the whole experience worth every minute.

Baldacci has outdone himself and deserves a five star rating.

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51 of 52 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joy on 11-11-08

Lovely Story

There are a couple of Authors whose books I will purchase without bothering with reviews or even checking out what the story is about. David Baldacci is one of those writers. This story is definitely different than his usual books and I enjoy seeing an Author step out of his/her usual genre and write something different. This story touches the heart and digs deep into the best and worst of human behavior. I listened to this story straight through and was never bored. David does go into great detail to describe the setting and the people and all of it adds to the understanding of what it must have been like to be yanked from the comfort zone of your life and then tossed into surviving in what had to be a culture and lifestyle foreign to most of us. I found myself feeling for the characters and wondering how miserable I might have been under the circumstances. I for one, thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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