Published in 2007. 197 pages.
First sentence: To understand the name Way Down Deep, one must go back to the eighteenth century and the days of adventurers and pioneers.
Plot summary: A two- or three-year-old little girl is found on the steps of the courthouse in Way Down Deep, West Virginia, on the first day of summer in 1944. Who is she, and where did she come from? Taken in by Miss Arbutus, proprietor of the local boardinghouse, the little girl becomes a well-loved member of the community. But when she is twelve, the mystery of who she is and where she comes from begins to unravel, with life-changing results.
Why I read this book: This children's book, by the author of Newbery Honor book Belle Prater's Boy, was the November pick for the mother-daughter book club I attend with Sugar Plum. This was also an appropriate read this week, because it is Children's Book Week.
What I thought of the book: Absolutely delightful, this book is filled with fun, quirky characters and provides much insight into family, identity, and love!
Two favorite thoughts from the book:
- "Yes, it's nice to know who you are."
- - Lucy Elkins, previously known only as Mrs. Thornton Elkins
- "Your opinion doesn't count, nor does mine ... in the long run, it's only what one thinks of oneself that matters."
- - Mr. Doctor, the town physician
"Miss Arbutus says that sleep is more important for the soul than for the body. She says when a person sleeps a lot like Mr. Crawford does, they are trying to work out their problems."
"And how does sleeping help?"
"Because, according to Miss Arbutus," Ruby said, "God is in that place where sleep takes us. Way down deep inside, where all the answers lie."