Set in 1940s Appalachia, The Secret Sense of Wildflower tells the story of Louisa May "Wildflower" McAllister, whose life has been shaped around the recent death of her beloved father in a sawmill accident. While her mother hardens in her grief, Wildflower and her three sisters must cope with their loss themselves, as well as with the demands of daily survival. Despite these hardships, Wildflower has a resilience that is forged with humor, a love of the land, and an endless supply of questions to God. When Johnny Monroe, the town's teenage ne'er-do-well, sets his sights on Wildflower, she must draw on the strength of her relations, both living and dead, to deal with his threat.
With prose as lush and colorful as the American South, The Secret Sense of Wildflower is powerful and poignant, brimming with energy and angst, humor and hope. In its ability to create a truly original Southern voice, The Secret Sense of Wildflower establishes Gabriel as a thoughtful and powerful Southern writer.
©2012 Susan Gabriel (P)2012 Susan Gabriel
"A quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review and voted a Best Book of 2012)
"In this the story about a young girl who must grow up faster than her time and make peace with several factors there is also mystery and drama along with the palpable female protagonist and soulful narrative to keep the reader emotionally charged and invested. The Secret Sense of Wildflower is eloquent and moving tale chock-filled with themes of inner strength, family and love." (indiereader.com)
"The story is powerful, very powerful. Excellent visuals, good drama. I raced to get to the conclusion...but didn't really want to read the last few pages because then it would be over!" (author Nancy Purcell)
I wanted to like this book when I started listening to the audible version, and it had a promising start. Unfortunately, the author's narration and the technical production were really poor. The author's voice does not match the main character (a 12-13 year old girl), and she read in nearly a monotone with very little expression. In at least 3 instances the narration was interrupted by some technical issue, including what might be most of one of the last 3 or 4 chapters.
I really like coming-of-age stories and southern literature. Even with the poor narration, the beginning of the novel, the character development, the building of tension and place were good enough to keep me reading. My biggest disappointment came in the tidy, abrupt ending, possibly because of the missing chapter. Perhaps some page limit had been reached?
I was also hoping that Wildflower's "secret sense" would have played a more important part in the novel.
A bookworm for over 50 years!
Spunky, smart southern girl overcomes adversity.
The final scene with her mother is very moving.
That would have to be Wildflower, of course. She's the main character and the story is written in first person.
I recommend this to those who are tired of listening to badly written novels and want a lyrical, suspenseful story that is hard to forget. Southern literary fiction at its best.
The narrator. It is never good when an author reads their own books and this monotone rendition is almost painful.
No. It was a very good book and was well written.
I liked that it was told in a first person voice of a 13 year old girl.
No! Even though she is the author, she is a poor narrator. Her voice is monotone and there is frequent stops in the book. You can hear her turn the pages. One time she stopped and did something... A sneeze? I couldn't make it out.
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