Bernadine Brown received more millions of dollars than she could ever spend when she divorced her cheating husband of thirty years. With some of that money she bought the town of Henry Adams, KS off of ebay. Henry Adams was founded by freed Blacks over a hundred years ago but like many small rural towns was dying. Bernadine was changing all that with her millions and building projects were springing up all over town.
Building projects aren’t the only things flourishing. Bernadine brought 5 foster children into town and placed them with various families. These children were from various inner cities and have issues and problems. Yet, with the love of the entire town, these children are learning about family and about themselves.
This is a community that doesn’t want to die. It wants to live and love. A favorite hangout is the Dog and Cow diner. It was one of the first projects in the town and with the right cook; it could become the town’s meeting place.
Bernadine wants to attract new people into town. After all, buildings are just buildings. It’s the people that make the town. One of the ways she’s doing this, besides bringing in the 5 foster children, is to build a new school and hire a new teacher. That teacher brings with him a 16-year-old son. Unfortunately, one of the other people attracted to the new Henry Adams is Bernadine’s ex. He’s figured out that Bernadine was the best thing that ever happened to him and he wants her back. She’s not interested though as she has another man who has caught her eye. Can Bernadine deal with her ex around town or will her emotions overcome her good sense? There’s also a new guy working at the diner who’s bringing Bernadine flowers. What’s up with him?
I loved this book and there is no way that I’m ever going to be able to express how much this book impressed me. I’m going to give it a good try though.
The characters were awesome. They were bright and unique and yet you felt as if you knew them and they could be your neighbor. The pride that they have for family and community came across the page give you a wonderful window into a place many of us could only imagine. The characters weren’t perfect nor did they attempt to be. They were human with common problems. Mal was a Vietnam vet that had a drinking problem as so many vets do. Trent has been married a couple of times. Rocky went east to find her place in this world, only to return. Eli is hurting from his mother’s death. Every day people with every day issues make this story feel as if it could be your town and your friends.
The history astounded me. I have a degree in history and I learned so much from this book. This isn’t a history book nor is the history boring but the history lessons show how the past influences the future and that not everything is learned at school.
The dialogs were spot on. You could see the people talking like this. I could imagine these conversations actually happening.
I’m not sure who the target audience is for this wonderful story. As an adult, I loved it. If I could, I would make this interesting and inspirational book a must read at the high school level/middle school level. As an aside……Henry Adams is an historically Black town. Most of the people in the town are Black or Seminole. The rich cultural history of these people are the basis of this book and one of the reasons that I so enjoyed it. The USA is made up of many diverse cultures, each with its own traditions and history. Yet, in my opinion, all of these traditions and histories are part of what makes this one of the most unique countries in the world and I want to know about them all! Thank you, Ms Jenkins for sharing with me.
This is the second book about Bernadine and Henry Adams. I have not read the first book yet thoroughly enjoyed the second. I can only imagine how good the first one is.