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Born to the rigors of life on a small New Hampshire farm, thirteen year old Catherine Hall is keeping house for her widowed father and youngers sister as she begins her journal in 1830, unaware that it is to be one of the most memorable times of her life. Her father’s remarriage introduces a new mother and brother into her home; the plight of a runaway slave opens her eyes to injustice; the tragedy of early death brings her first growing-up grief. And everyday life moves on as well: quilting, berrying, the great “breaking out” after the snowbound winter, sugaring in the spring, rivalries and romances.
Joan Blos’s moving novel captures the hardship as well as the tranquility of early American farm life and the sturdiness, the tenderness, of the people whose way of life it was.