4.5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction book. It’s full of heart, and wonder, and a little bit of mystery. It’s an original, fresh story that you won’t want to put down.

The story focuses on two 16 year old best friends, Nettie and Win, living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in 1969. Nettie is forthright and mischievous and trying to figure out the whole sex thing with her longtime boyfriend Andy. When he talks about their future together, Nettie worries that their young love won’t be enough to survive college and his future in the military. As a result, the couple decide to take a break, giving her archenemy an opportunity to try to steal Andy away from her. Nettie must also contend with a pastor that doesn’t believe she’s ready to be baptized because she questions some of the fundamental tenants of religion. Much to her consternation, Nettie is forced to participate in extra one-on-one classes with an associate pastor.

Win is struggling with her calling as a future medicine woman. Her grandmother Nibi, a Monacan Indian medicine woman, helps guide Win in her future position with lessons and antidotes. She tasks the girls with making an authentic dream catcher during their summer break, saying they are crucial to both girls’ futures. This task is more difficult than the girls expected, challenging them both physically and emotionally. When a natural disaster hits the girls’ home, the skills and strength they gained climbing and searching the mountain over the summer could be the key to their survival.

This book caught my attention right away and didn’t let go until the satisfying end. The characters are well-written, the story is interesting, and it flows so smoothly you get lost in the book and don’t realize how much time has passed. Unbeknownst to me, the author’s first book The Wiregrass is set in the same world with many of the same characters. It’s set during a time period before the events of this book. I am definitely going to read that book as well.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. I highly recommend you read it.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.