cover image A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays

Ruth White. FSG/Ferguson, $16.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-374-39912-2

Fourteen-year-old Garnet has a summer of discovery when her mother goes off to seek work in Florida, leaving Garnet with an aunt she’s never met. Garnet is angry and resentful, but Aunt June is welcoming and kind. She’s also married well. Unlike the “three-room dump” above a grocery store where Garnet and her mother lived, June and Otis have a sprawling house, a telephone, and a television—a rare possession in rural Virginia in 1956. Their money can’t buy what Aunt June needs most, however: she’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer. As Aunt June visits a variety of country churches seeking a miracle cure, Garnet meets Silver, the handsome son of an itinerant minister. The two have an instant connection, but Silver’s father is ready to move on before long. Too much happens for such a slim novel set over the course of a month, which makes the tragic ending seem not just abrupt but unearned. But White’s command of the material—the setting, vernacular, and character tics will be familiar to readers of her previous books—makes this a rewarding read. Ages 10–14. (Oct.)