It's 1926 and Iris is a charming 15 year old girl growing up in , sent by her neglectful, widower father to become a companion to an elderly woman living in the country. Iris is a self-proclaimed "city girl" and knows that moving to Missouri to stay with a country doctor and his mother is going to be difficult and even a bit scary, especially when she has to leave her best friend, Leroy, behind.
When she arrives, clueless to how to care for an aging woman or how to run a household, Iris is timid and keeps her thoughts to herself. The Nesbitts welcome her with open arms and as she becomes comfortable with the doctor and his mother and t(heir quirks), she slowly comes out of her shell and blossoms into the beautiful young woman her father had been holding back all of those years.
When news of a tragedy at home is brought to Iris, her whole world is turned upside-down and her newfound comfort is upended. No longer sure where she fits in or who even wants her around, Iris does some deep soul-searching before finally allow her heart to feel again.
If I didn't tell you that Barbara Stuber was a debut novelist, you would never know it. The writing that comes off of these pages is that of a veteran, not a newbie to the writing world! The story is fantastic, beautiful and relaxing. And the characters are all done so well, that you'll have a hard time picking a favorite...I'm torn between Mrs. Nesbitt and Marie (the dog of course!).
This is the type of book that you want to cuddle up with a blanket and read, with a hot mug of cider or tea and an animal at your feet if you have one (if not, I will rent mine for a fee). It's a cozy story, with a certain richness that just pulls you in and makes you want to know more about more about these people. You'll become friends with them as the story goes on and when the book is finished, letting them go will be harder than you think!
There isn't a whole lot of "action" or twists and turns, but you won't miss any of that page-turning stuff for a second. Every once in awhile it's necessary to slowly enjoy a story..and often those are the ones that stick with you the longest. I loved it!
Awesome debut Ms. Stuber!
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Crossing the Tracks
Margaret K. McElderry
Review copy received from publisher