Set during the early days of the Civil War, twins Noah and Tilly Pruitt live in Grand Tower, Illinois, right off of the Mississippi River with their mother and their younger sister, Cass, who sees visions. Noah really wants to go fight in the Civil War for the North. This part of Illinois was very divided—some of the boys want to fight for the “secesh” and some want to fight for the North. Then, a steamboat coming from New Orleans brings Delphine and her slave? Servant? Calinda to Grand Tower. Noah and Tilly’s mother takes in Delphine and Calinda as boarders. Delphine upturns everything in the Pruitt’s household and the whole town. Noah leaves to fight when he and Tilly turn 16. Tilly’s mother, already depressed and angry that her husband hasn’t come back home for three years, commands Tilly to bring Noah back home. Tilly and Delphine set out for Cairo, Illinois, to find Noah and bring him back. They are successful, but not without consequences.
I listened to the book on CD and the narrator easily switches between Tilly’s southern Midwest voice and Delphine’s New Orleans-French accent. I wanted to look up these downstate Illinois places on a map so I could see where the author was talking about; they do exist. This is just a slice of Civil War times and a very realistic coming-of-age story.
Posted by: Lori