Third Willow is Lenore Skomal's classic, heroic coming-of-age novel, ostensibly written for young people but better appreciated by adults.
In the apex of the wooded matriarch is where he felt it-his oneness with the willow. The branches fluttered with his weight, as he fused into them. He moved as it moved and vice versa, in a synergistic dance; an extension of the lumbering mammoth and it of him, connected in some unfathomable way.
It's the summer of ‘54 in the sleepy midwestern town of Sand Flats, Nebraska. Four lonely misfits forge an unlikely friendship under the draping branches of the third willow - a safe place where humor, magic and sorrow coexist. There they discover that best friends can ease the pressures from the adult world that threaten to steal their innocence.
Ringleader Hap - a poor man's Peter Pan - is unwilling to let the abuse of his alcoholic father taint his boyish optimism while he secretly searches for his missing mother. Obsessed with his Indian roots, he constructs a carefree world on the outskirts of town. As the new kid in Sand Flats, tomboy Patsy joins him, eager to escape her father's iron rule and the pain afflicting her wounded brother, a Korean War veteran. Together, Hap and Patsy befriend timid Beah, who struggles to earn the love of her cold mother following the death of her only brother.
It takes levelheaded Raz, the eldest of the only Jewish family in town, to be the conscience of the group. Told through their eyes, this is a tale of a summer of unbridled adventure, which ends unexpectedly and abruptly forces them all into adulthood. As tender as it is intense, Third Willow will transport you to the last summer of your innocence.