Parents' Guide to

A Month of Sundays

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Light romance flirts with tough issues.

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While this story flirts with heavy themes -- feeling abandoned, being raised by a single mother, economic hardship, coping with terminal illness -- it never really engages with any of them. Garnet remains a fairly thin character, despite the first-person narration. It's obvious how she feels about the improbably named Silver Shepherd, but her feelings about her parents and what she experiences at the churches is superficial. More disappointing is that the thorniest problems are resolved so lightly: by faith healing, by clearing up a simple misunderstanding, by looking for the bright side. The melodrama reaches a height just four pages before the novel abruptly ends. What had potential to be a solid coming-of-age novel winds up a ho-hum romance.

Nevertheless, Ruth White draws a warm portrait of the Rose family and their Appalachian community. Young tweens might enjoy this glimpse into a time when television was still a novelty.

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