Title: The Good Dream
First Line: I didn't set out to be an old maid.
My Thoughts: I picked this book up because of its title, but it was the first line that made me want to check it out. And I'm glad I did. It's set in 1950 in the small town of Morgan Hill, Tennessee. The main character, Ivorie Walker, is only thirty, but everyone in town has already declared her to be an old maid, something she doesn't exactly mind. "I gave up trying to talk to single men when, years earlier, I told Lloyd Parker I felt fine as frog hair. There's no way back from something that idiotic." But since her mother's death, she's felt an emptiness in her life that she doesn't know how to fill. Then, one night, a young boy wanders into her vegetable patch and steals her tomatoes. He is dirty and malnourished and comes from the hills. His mother is dead and can no longer protect him from his father, but Ivorie thinks she can ... even against the advice of everyone else in town who warns her not to get involved.
This is an amazing and beautifully told story; I didn't even mind that the narrative alternates between Ivorie and the boy. Ivorie is a great character--stubborn and funny and kind. And very memorable. I really liked her. This novel is both heartbreaking and heartwarming...a great combination in a book when you can find it. And I'm very glad I found this particular novel on the V shelf. Reading the Alphabet has been a lot of fun; I can't wait to see what bookish serendipity the U shelf holds for me.