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August 2018 Sources
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The great logic puzzle of life
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Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question: 09/17/18

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman is about a girl who asks the right questions and manages to stop a generation long feud. Before she can do that, though, she has to say good bye to her parents (temporarily) as they are off to fly their solar plane around the world. She meanwhile is off to rural Pennsylvania to live with her aunt and uncle.

Effie has a brand new bicycle and the expectation that she will stay out of everyone's hair. Her problem is that she doesn't know the territory (to quote The Music Man) and worse, she doesn't know the rules that goes with the territory. She doesn't know the long standing rivalries or the power structure of the area.

She's also well off and used to getting her way. That means she takes chances and isn't afraid of people. When a neighborhood kid is in her yard harassing one of the farm animals, she barges in to get the kid out of trouble before something worse happens. That sparks an uneasy friendship between the Zooks and the Yoders.

Tied up into all this mess is story of her family fortune. For this book, the Zooks were related to the man who patented the airsickness bag. In reality there's an entirely different story that the author includes in the afterword. The point here, though, is the inventor had apparently one good idea and nothing else and that lead to other tensions and a family riff that has now turned into a feud involving the Zooks and the Yoders.

The final lesson of this book is that family secrets suck. They ultimately cause more harm than good. They can tear people apart and keep future generations apart, even after the initial hurt has been forgotten.

Four stars

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