Louisiana's Song
Kerry Madden
Viking, 2007

Louisiana's Song

The tragedy that sunk its teeth into the Weems family at the end of Gentle's Holler (BCCB 6/05) isn't ready to let loose of them yet: Daddy may have survived the car accident, but he's not the man he used to be. He can't remember ordinary words, he no longer plays his banjo, and the only one of his ten children that he seems to know is Emmett, whose guilt and wanderlust keep him up at Ghost Town, the amusement park where he works. As Mama tries her best to keep the family afloat financially, Livy Two writes her songs, frets about her family, and pines for days past. In the spirit of TV's The Waltons, each member of the Weems family emerges as a distinct character, likable for his or her own individual traits and talents. Madden continues her paean to mountain life, painting a warm and enveloping portrait of a family who love their secluded mountain home in North Carolina in the 1960s, and yet they are not untouched by the world around them. Fans of Patricia MacLachlan, Ruth White, and Laura Ingalls Wilder have a new voice to add to their favorites list.

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