ON AGATE HILL by Lee Smith
Read : June 24 - 28
Category : New Writers
Pages : 621
This book, set after the Civil War, is the life story of a woman, telling of the losses of her lifetime.
The premise is the finding, by a student, of the diaries and letters of a woman in a secret room in Agate Hill Plantation. As a child after her family is lost, Molly is taken in at Agate Hill, a plantation owned by her Uncle Junius and Aunt Fanny. After adjusting to her new environment under the care of her Aunt Fanny, Molly loses Aunt Fanny in childbirth. Her uncle becomes despondent and lets the plantation become rundown. Uncle Junius' sister comes to help with the running of the house bringing her granddaughter who becomes Molly's first and dearest friend. This friendship is the basis of the letters that are used as the narrative after Molly goes off to a girl's school.
The narrative continues with her travels to the opening a school in the Appalachian mountains, through her marriage, the death of children and husband, the coroner's trial, and her return to Agate Hill.
This book was interesting but I think it was a bit too long. It was disjointed in the section of Molly's original stay in Agate Hill. I think that it was unnecessary to have the student continually interrupting the storyline.