The Angels of Morgan Hill: 06/26/09
The Angels of Morgan Hill is set in Morgan Hills, Tennessee in 1947. It's an all white town until the Turners move in to help with the tobacco crop. The only family to befriend the Turners is the Gables. Jane's mother is recently widowed and is seeking kinship after years of an abusive marriage. The friendship doesn't last long as the bigots of the town welcome them by burning down their home and killing everyone except for young Milo.
Jane Gable, the nine year old narrator tells the story of how mother takes in young Milo having made a promise to her dying friend. This act of compassion ends up being an act of rebellion that shakes the very foundation of Morgan Hill. Jane describes all these events in an authentic voice that brings to mind the Depression Era memoir, Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish.
Surprisingly to me The Angels of Morgan Hill has a happy ending. With all the vitriol and violence I expected the book to end tragically. Near the end though, it changes direction and it was nice to see some of the adults redeem themselves.
The novel is only 220 pages and for that it can be a quick read. I wasn't able to sit and read it all at one go as some reviewers described. I found it too visceral to read all at once. I read it a few chapters at a time and then set it aside.
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