Cold Sassy Tree
by Olive Ann Burns
My friend has a special relationship with this book. By a "relationship" I mean that she had a couple copies find her and so now we give her every copy we come across, sometimes 35 at a time. Despite having dozens of copies of this book pass through my hands, I had never actually stopped to read it. So when I spotted it on audio at the library, I decided to give it a shot.
This felt like a YA book before YA even became a genre. It's the story of young Will Tweedy in the town of Cold Sassy in 1906 and his family. After his grandmother died, his grandfather almost immediately married a much younger (Yankee) woman. The scandal of it spreads through the town. It's a story of Will's experiences from camping with his friends to getting run over by a train to finding out about his grandfather and Miss Love's relationship to the first new car in town (his father's!). Everyone feels like a real person I enjoyed getting to know. In fact, I cried at the ending; I really didn't see that coming. It was a wonderful look at a unique set of characters in a time and place I wouldn't have gotten to know otherwise. I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would.