Book Review: On Agate Hill by Lee Smith

If you are looking for an epic story to read this is it. On Agate Hill is a drama that spans much of the life of the Molly, the main character. The Civil War changes the circumstances of her life, as does losing family members, going to boarding school, and marrying for love.

Molly is a very independent, circumspect girl. She grows quite wild, raising herself on the once grand estate of Agate Hill. Her life has been full of loss. Her father died in the war, and her mother and siblings soon after. She lives how she pleases until death takes her uncle and she is forced into going to a private boarding school. At the conclusion of her years at school, she takes up residence in close-knit community in the Appalachian mountains as a school teacher. While there she falls in love and marries, something she swore she'd never do. She has several happy years before things all of the sudden come crashing down on her. And then, coming full circle she goes back "home" to Agate Hill.

I can't say that this was my favorite book. It was a nice story, but that was all that it was. It lacked real literary substance. In a lot of ways it reminded me of a Belva Plain novel, following one character through the triumphs and tragedies of life.

My Rating

Overall: 3 stars

Objectionable Content: Again, this book is kind of like a Belva Plain novel, there is some sexual content.


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