Carbondale, Illinois. 1958. For widowed Tessie Lockhart, booking two seats on a passenger train to Florida symbolizes a fresh start, far from her memories of love and loss. For Tessie’s teenage daughter Dinah, who misses her father terribly, the move to Gainesville means a new school and the painful ordeal of making new friends. Rich, popular Crystal Landy is one of the first girls Dinah meets—and it will be Crystal, along with her exquisite mother, Victoria, who will transform the Lockharts’ lives in ways they never could have imagined. For as war and change come to this small southern town, the bonds between mothers and daughters will be tested, friendships sealed, secrets revealed, and relationships forever altered by the turbulence of the coming decades.
Wise, moving, and warmly funny, The Orange Blossom Special, spans twenty years in the lives of an unforgettable cast of characters. Betsy Carter has crafted a powerful, richly rewarding novel about growing up, moving on, and turning strangers into friends.
When Tessie Lockhart's husband dies, leaving her all alone with her eleven-year-old daughter in Carbondale, Illinios, she decides there is a need to make changes. Gainsville, Florida seems to be just the change they need.
Tessie and Dinah both adjust to life in Florida and to the death of Tessie's husband, Dinah's father. Tessie gets a new job, struggles to make a life for her daughter and begins an affair with a married mogul. Dinah befriends the richest, most popular girl in school and also develops a friendship with Eddie, a boy with an extra finger and no friends to speak of.
From the late 1950's to 1986, this book follows a unique cast of characters through the pivotal years in their lives. It's a story of survival, friendship, and moving on.
Read this book if:
*you like southern fiction
*you like books that take place in small towns
*you like stories about mothers and daughters