All the Little Hopes by Leah Weiss
From the acclaimed author of If the Creek Don’t Rise comes a Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees. Set during WWII in North Carolina, All the Little Hopes is a stunning coming-of-age novel. Following the thirteen-year-old characters of Lucy Brown and Allie Bert Tucker, this book has a rich and moving prose that transported me to a land of tobacco fields and purple honey. … (Keep reading for my full review!)
About All the Little Hopes:
(From the publisher) Deep in the tobacco land of North Carolina, nothing’s the same since the boys shipped off to war and worry took their place. Thirteen-year-old Lucy Brown is curious and clever, but she can’t make sense of it all. Then Allie Bert Tucker comes to town, an outcast with a complicated past, and Lucy believes that together they can solve crimes. Just like her hero, Nancy Drew.
That chance comes when a man goes missing, a woman stops speaking, and an eccentric gives the girls a mystery that takes them beyond the ordinary. Their quiet town, seasoned with honeybees and sweet tea, becomes home to a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp—and more men go missing. The pair set out to answer the big question: do we ever really know who the enemy is?
Lush with Southern atmosphere, All The Little Hopes, is the story of two girls growing up while war creeps closer, blurring the difference between what’s right, what’s wrong, and what we know to be true
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This copy was received courtesy of the publisher, Sourcebooks. As always, all opinions are entirely my own!
Lucy Brown is a curious thirteen-year-old with a penchant for big words and a love for mysteries. When Allie Bert (who goes by Bert) shows up in town, the two forge a fast friendship that evolves into a beautiful sisterhood. As men around town go missing, Lucy knows that Bert and her and can solve the case just like her beloved Nancy Drew.
As a reader, you had me at Nancy Drew. Having loved the books myself as a child, this seems like such an epitome for growing up. And there was so much growth throughout this slow-paced, historical fiction. I loved the unique perspectives found through both Lu and Bert, and how Weiss captured the ideas of family, love, forgiveness and loss — all through the eyes of two young teen girls.
I did guess the solution to their mystery in advance. And personally, I wasn’t a fan of the spiritualized element to the girls’ clue hunt. BUT, this book is so much more than a mystery. It’s a family saga with writing sucks you in with its beauty. This slow-moving, Southern narrative has an incredible cast of characters that you can’t help but fall for. (And can I just say how much I loved Mama?)
All the Little Hopes tackles a variety of difficult subjects, all through the lens of a loving family. I really enjoyed watching these characters evolve over the course of the novel, and learned a few fun historical facts along the way. (Who knew purple honey was a real thing?)
Overall, this is a beautiful and tender read. It’s clear that Leah Weiss has a strong voice of her own and I can’t wait to read more of this author’s work.