Sticky competition spoils maple syrup harvest
by Jennifer Minicus | March 23, 2017
Truly Lovejoy is still adjusting to life in New Hampshire. Only in a small town like Pumpkin Falls can the maple sap flow overshadow a girl’s thirteenth birthday. To compensate, Truly has the long-awaited visit of Mackenzie, her cousin and best friend, whom she hasn’t seen since her family moved from Texas.
When they were younger, Truly never noticed the physical differences between her and Mackenzie. Now, compared to her blond, petite cousin, six foot tall Truly feels awkward. It doesn’t help that all the boys in town are tripping over themselves to get to know this attractive visitor. Tensions between the girls rise as the visit progresses, in spite of the discovery of a 19th century diary under the floorboards of Truly’s closet and a hostile rivalry between neighboring maple syrup farms. Torn between her loyalty to Mackenzie and her own insecurities, Truly finds herself at odds with nearly everyone except for her beloved older brother Hatcher, who always seems to make things right. Eventually Truly overcomes her pride and becomes the heroine her family needs her to be.
Heather Vogel Frederick’s second mystery in this series reminds readers of the importance of family relationships. The Lovejoy family includes not just Truly, her parents and her siblings, but also grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – and even close friends. Truly has grown up in a loving atmosphere where the human person has more value than anything else. Sibling interaction is wholly realistic, but sacrifice for the good of the others, and the happiness that accompanies it, is taken for granted in this home. Truly comes to better appreciate this lesson as she reads the diary of the original Truly Lovejoy whose courage placed justice before personal comfort.
While the first book in this series, Absolutely Truly, is aimed at a younger audience, pre-teens will enjoy this second installment of Truly’s story.
A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.