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The Orange Blossom Special : a novel
Betsy Carter
Adult Fiction CARTER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The title of Carter's sympathetic if somewhat contrived debut novel (she's the author of a memoir, Nothing to Fall Back On) refers to the first New York-to-Miami passenger train, a not-so-subtle metaphor for the American dream and the forward march of history, as the story hurtles from the late '50s and into the '80s. In 1958, comely widow Tessie Lockhart and her seventh-grade daughter, Dinah, uproot from Carbondale, Ill., to Gainesville, Fla., driven by a very American faith in the healing power of a fresh start. There, their lives intertwine with those of Gainesville's powerful Landy family, as Dinah's popular classmate Crystal Landy and her solemn older brother, Charlie, befriend Dinah. When the Landys' house burns down, killing their father, Dinah and Crystal form a special bond, speaking "the same language of loss" across the divide of class and social status. Even Tessie and supercilious matriarch Victoria Landy cement a rocky friendship, and over the years, a tumultuous love blossoms between Dinah and Charlie. Carter's plot skips lightly over the passing decades, which are marked by periodic eruptions of changing culture. Each incident of racial strife or Vietnam tragedy feels forced and representative, though, and as the novel barrels into the late-20th century like the titular locomotive, Carter sacrifices character development in her reach for historical import. Agent, Kathy Robbins. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


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main characters Tessie Lockhart
Female
Widow
Plain looking; moves away from their home in the hgpes of a fresh start.

Dinah Lockhart
Girl
Tessie's daughter; seventh grader.



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