A strange, sad and disturbing tale set in the American South in the late 60’s. Ellie lives with her father and mother, but her mother is mentally unstable and after a fall and Tess the ‘Tomato Girl’ comes to stay things steadily deteriorate for her mother and all involved.
Highly addicting reading, however, awful things happen to eleven year old Ellie, one after the other, and it sometimes appears a little difficult to believe, but it certainly makes for page turning stuff.
Ellie has an awful lot to contend with dealing with her mother , father and Tess and one wonders how such a young girl can cope with all that is laid on her shoulders. One minute she seems very young for her years but the next very old. It’s certainly a world that wouldn’t be wished upon such young shoulders and it can be very strange too; the tale of her brother is most definitely disturbing. Ellie definitely had much too much responsibilty for one so young. It shows the strength of her character, but then if one has to deal with an awful situation there sometimes are not many options. It certainly scars her although which is to be expected. Ellie has a good friend who tries to help along the way and also finds there are others out there who will try to help in anyway they can, even if this involves a little bit of magic. It was by no means a cheerful tale,but the ending was certainly fitting and I felt helped lift the story from some of the sadness involved.