It had been three years since Meryl came to live with Grandma in the Bootheel of Missouri in Muddy Ox, a tiny community where everybody knew everybody and everybody’s dog.
At age sixteen, she’d evolved from a pampered child who hadn’t been made to pick her socks off the floor to one who could skillfully hoe a field row and pick two hundred and fifty pounds of cotton in a twelve-hour day.
Her motivation came when Grandma told her she could keep all the money she made to buy her books and school clothes. She quickly calculated she’d never have to wear the boy shoes her dad had made her wear because of her wide feet causing ridicule and embarrassment by her peers. Sending a little fat girl to school wearing boy’s shoes only guaranteed she’ll be tormented.
Meryl brought a list of ‘nevers’ with her after her father and she moved to Muddy Ox from Brooksville, Illinois. First of all, never wear those boy shoes again. Second, never be the butt of jokes because she cast a larger shadow than some other children. And last, never be belt whipped by an alcoholic father again. How Meryl found ways to cross off those and other ‘nevers’ later added to her list is the heart of this novel but there is so much more.
There are several plots and sub-plots to this story but it begins with a dream that Meryl had about her mother. This dream significantly follows her through her young life. There is a firebug running amuck in Muddy Ox. The twist in discovering its identity will surprise you. Be with Meryl as she experiences her first date, first kiss and first heartbreak. Follow her journey into adulthood and feel the pain of some of the events that left scars from her childhood.
|Publisher:||Noel Barton Author|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.01(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
Table of Contents
When Meryl Jean's father went on to live his own life after dropping her off to live with her grandmother, she decided to reinvent her life to cross off the 'nevers' she had. Those 'nevers' being, never be tormented because she casts a larger shadow than her peers, never be belt-whipped by an alcoholic father and never be forced to wear boy shoes again because she had wide feet. How she creates ways to do this is the heart of the book but there is also a mystery of who is the firebug in Muddy Ox, a love story, a coming of age and many moral and spiritual messages. As Grandma teaches Meryl about the ways of the Lord, the readers are enlightened as well. Her story will touch every emotion the reader has to keep the pages turning until the very end.