As I read the book, I was struck by the imagery and sense of place which was strongly developed by Sorensen. I have never been to visit the northern United States, but I feel like I have been there – visited four times in a year and caught a glimpse of each season.
The story revolves around a family. The father has returned from the war (which is unnamed) and is having difficulty returning to the civilian life. How appropriate is that in the lives of children today? The mother and two children are concerned about the father and wish that he would return to his old self. To help with this process, the family visits the grandmother’s old place in rural Pennsylvania – a place called Maple Hill, where miracles happen!
The story is told from the perspective of the daughter, Marly, who immediately falls in love with the mountain and the wonder of the rural life. The father stays on fulltime at Maple Hill, while the family visits every weekend. The strength of the novel is the descriptions of the flora and fauna in the area and especially the gathering and processing of the maple syrup.
Other reviewers have talked at length about this spirit of the place, and I invite you to read them here!
TITLE: Miracles on Maple Hill
AUTHOR: Virginia Sorensen
TYPE: fiction, Newbery Award Wimmer
RECOMMEND: I loved this book.