The moment Ellie and her father pull up in front of Grandmother Acklebee's farm in Weyboldt, Saskatchewan, Ellie knows she isn't wanted. But Ellie's father has just taken a job s a traveling salesman, and he has no other choice. The road is no place for a nine-year old.
Ellie doesn't know her grandmother, but she learns quickly that the older woman blames her son-in-law and granddaughter for her daughter's death. And although her Uncle Roger is a kind man, Ellie is quickly cowed by the angry old woman, who shows her litle kindness and no affection. Determined to survive the situation with her dignity intact, Ellie isn't about to show her grandmother that she can be hurt.
During an economic downturn in 1954, ten-year-old Ellie's father is forced to leave her for the summer with her maternal grandmother and Uncle Roger, people she's never known. Although Ellie is innately optimistic, it's hard to adjust to living with a cold, distant grandmother who blames both the child and Ellie's father for her daughter's death in childbirth. Insightfully exploring Ellie's sometimes pathetic efforts to both understand and please her grandmother and at the same time sensitively exposing the reasons behind the woman's bitterness, this novel gives each of the main characters believable depth. At one astonishing point, Grandma impatiently reaches around Ellie to teach her how to cut dough: I realized with a start that her arms were around me. Not really, but sort of . . . .I closed my eyes and pretended, just for a minute, that she was hugging me, like an normal grandmother would do. Quiet moments like that abound and effectively convey a remarkable level of feeling, making this a worthy and moving purchase. (Historical fiction. 9-13)
Author : Valerie Sherrard
Publisher : Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
Published Year : June 2010
Edition : 1
Subject : Children's Fiction, Family
ISBN : 1554551137
ISBN13 : 9781554551132