Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374333768, 256pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2008
Twelve-year-old March Anne Tanner’s life is tied to the simple rhythms and cycles of the watermelon farm in Jubilee, Georgia, that she has grown up on. Thanks to Grenna, her grandmother and surrogate mother, March Anne has learned everything she needs to know about seeds, vine pruning, and harvesting melons and pumpkins. And although Grenna has tried to teach March Anne about her ancestors, March Anne has always been uncomfortable with the family name she’s been given and doesn’t like. And so, in secret meetings deep in the woods, March Anne and her two best friends form the Pseudonymphs, whose names change with the seasons.
When Grenna suffers a heart attack, March Anne must face an uncertain future and confront her past. In the middle of it all, a ruby-throated hummingbird decides to winter at the Tanners’ and becomes a source of delight and inspiration as March Anne prepares for Grenna’s passing and journeys toward self-acceptance.
This sweet and tangy debut introduces a memorable cast of characters who come to learn that grace can abide within and beyond the realities of pain and loss.
"This debut novel tenderly portrays the cycle of life with its attendant joy and grief from the perspective of a down-to-earth heroine." —Kirkus Reviews "The novel is a call to notice nature's bounty as well as the story of a search for identity . . . . Charmingly told." —Kliatt “Twelve-year-old March Anne Tanner’s world is full of the rich colors and sweet smells of her family’s Georgia watermelon farm. . . . those longing for a lushly drawn, gentle coming-of-age tale to while away summer days will take March Anne and her story to heart.”—Booklist
“This debut novel is written so lyrically.” —VOYA
“In the vein of great coming-of-age stories like Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt or The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, first-time novelist Kimberly Greene Angle has given readers a poignant tale about loss from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl.”—Bookami.com
“There’s certainly something in this story that the reader won’t take for granted, and that is the precocious and hilarious March Anne Tanner. . . .This is a story about the small joys of faith, family, and friendship. . . . So put on your best southern accent, and enjoy the adventure.” —ALAN’s Picks, Highly Recommended—(an online feature from The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents)