Monday, February 23, 2015

Book of Awesomeness

Moon Over ManifestMoon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If my library were open on Thursdays, I'd run all the way there with my asthma and the snow so I could get Clare Vanderpool's other book, Navigating Early.
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”
Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.
In the last couple of chapters, all of the little details came together. Abilene's "scratch", Miss Sadie and Ned, Eva Cybulskis, and all the little things crushed me under the weight of their love. Yes, I had to incorporate a quote.
“Who would dream that one can love without being crushed under the weight of it?”
I don't know, Miss Sadie. I was pretty crushed myself at the end.
Miss Sadie knows EVERYTHING and her story is very sad. Now please go read this book.
On one hand, I want to buy this book so I can highlight it and keep it forever. On the other hand, the library copy I just finished is the same one I read a couple years ago, and I was just as shocked about everything as I was that time. I honestly couldn't remember if Abilene's dad came back for her or not. Also, stories are meant to be shared. Moon Over Manifest belongs in a library.

So, yeah. Go buy it, get it from the library, listen to the audio book (which I didn't do, but this seems like the perfect book to read aloud), do whatever. If you want more reasons, check out the other reviews on Goodreads. They say it's a beautiful historical piece that weaves in the past and the present ("present" as in 1936, Abilene's present. And to be honest, the past, 1918, was way more interesting). For me it's just a story set in the Great Depression about a girl who found her father in his town.

View all my reviews

Grading:
Violence: A or B
Note: Miss Sadie isn't really a "diviner" at all, just someone who watches and listens when no one else does.

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