The year is 1910.
Trudy Cameron, an 11-year-old girl introduced to listeners in The Dream Bucket, meets a 13-year-old neighbor, Manuela Blayne. Trudy and her seven-year-old stepsister, Bailey Benton, make friends with Manuela, while Trudy realizes she can never understand her new friend.
Yasmin, Manuela's mother, has given the girl to Nettie and Herschel Blayne, who were born into slavery. Manuela's grandmother, Nettie, is epileptic. Her grandfather, Herschel, an alcoholic, makes and sells all kinds of illegal spirits.
Manuela Blayne the fourth book in the Covington Chronicles. It is a complete story that stands alone. To understand some of the characters fully, however, it would be beneficial to listen to The Dream Bucket first. In first-person point of view, Trudy tells the story in her own words.
As Trudy and her siblings mature, they indulge in surprising mischief. The novella tells the struggles of young people to achieve what they hope for by overcoming various obstacles. Manuela Blayne is not primarily a romance, but it contains an unexpected romance.
Trudy sees how different her opportunities are from those afforded to Manuela. Trudy finds it impossible not to suffer some of what her friend endures. She hopes to help her friend make a difference in life, while Manuela exemplifies a beautiful new kind of hope.
©2015 Mary G. Cheatham (P)2015 Mary G. Cheatham
This coming of age novel depicts a realistic, earthy view of rural Mississippi life in the past. Vivid descriptions help the characters come alive as they face challenges of the times. I look forward to reading and/or listening to other books by this author.
This extremely well-written story is a must read for anyone who enjoyed the Dream Bucket by Mary Cheatham. The author shows great depth by being able to write this sequel but maintain its readability as a stand alone book. The story encompasses the social injustice of the times as well as a broad array of emotions. Compassion, sorrow, serenity and love are central to the story. I am eager to see what the author has in store for us next following Manuela Blayne. I am thirsty for what develops in the lives of Trudy and Will.
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