Friday, May 5, 2017

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel

Stevie has lived her entire thirteen years cocooned in the circle of her parents' love in Taos, New Mexico.  When they are both killed in a sudden accident, her world is shattered.  Not only are her parents gone, but she has to leave her beloved farm to live with a grandfather she's never met.

Winston lives in Little Ethel, Texas, a tiny town outside of Dallas.  His home and his business are the Texas Sunrise Motel.  Winston doesn't talk much and never about Stevie's mother, the only topic she really wants to discuss.  Despite this, she makes friends with the other denizens of the motel.

There's Arlo, repairman and handyman for everything at the outdated Motel, and his son Roy, who is pretty cute and sweet.  There's Violet, the front desk clerk who seems stuck in the past with her 50's dresses and obsession with Turner Classic Movies.  Horace and Ida are permanent residents of the motel who are wheelchair bound.

Instead of sending her to regular school, Winston enrolls Stevie with the ancient and narcoleptic Mrs. Crump who is fiercely independent and also taught Stevie's mother.  The more people she meets in Little Esther, the more Stevie realizes there are a lot of things she doesn't know about her parents.

Kimberly Willis Holt's new novel is sweet, slow, and quiet.  There's nothing new here, but the story is told in Holt's wonderful style, and the beautiful cover will draw readers in.  It won't be for people who love fast-paced stories with lots of action, but kids who enjoy a quiet gentle story will be satisfied.

Bonus for me and all my East Texas friends, Stevie passes through Tyler and Longview briefly!

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