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On Agate Hill (2006)

de Lee Smith

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6653125,877 (3.78)42
On Agate Hill is set in North Carolina in the years from 1872 to1927, and also in the present. The novel evokes the South in Reconstruction from an honest female perspective. It is the exuberantly romantic and episodic story of Molly Petree, an open-hearted and headstrong young Southern woman. The novel is framed with the letters and notes of a contemporary woman who seems almost a reincarnation of Molly herself.… (més)
  1. 00
    Cold Sassy Tree de Olive Ann Burns (ReneeReader)
    ReneeReader: While more serious than Cold Sassy Tree most of the time, On Agate Hill taps into a similar vein of Southern life in the time soon after the war. In this case it’s a girl coming of age, not a boy. On Agate Hill reads like a diary too.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 31 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Characters really come to life in this book, even the secondary characters. The speech is done well, descriptions too.
Molly Petree is the main character. She becomes an orphan and feels los, like a ghost child. She's taken in by a family member, but doesn't quite fit in. Her life changes even more when a man comes into her life and sends her to school.
All the twists and turns are true to life experiences, but not so fantastical they're not believable. There are some heart wrenching parts. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
This book is interesting as it is told through journal entries. The story begins as Molly is a young girl living with extended family members after the Civil War. The book gives some insight to the struggles of reconstruction. Various characters come in and out of her life and since it is told through her eyes, you do not know how much is just childlike imagination.

Having read and loved other books by Lee Smith, I cannot say that this is one of my favorites. Parts of it I thoroughly enjoyed but other parts seemed as if she just ran out of things to write. The beginning of the book was fascinating, but the end just seemed to run out of steam to me. Several loose ends remained in my opinion. ( )
  nmaners | Apr 11, 2014 |
Yet another book I couldn't wait to be done with! I never felt connected to the characters in this story and I didn't care for the construct of telling the story via diary entries, letters and court testimony. ( )
  dkhiggin | Sep 12, 2013 |
This one started out fine (except for the silly construct of the current day young woman finding the diaries and writing about it ridiculously casually to her professor), but halfway through it lost its thread and the main character's personality was no longer recognizable. In addition, I found the deposition and the final letter from Simon Black to Molly to be unacceptable -- two very reticent men becoming very chatty, one even on his deathbed. ( )
  creynolds | Aug 27, 2013 |
Finally! A great book! I was on a mediocre stretch there for a while.

On Agate Hill is the story of Molly Petree, an orphan girl growing up in the Reconstruction South. The book is made up of a lot of journal entries and letters, and it begins with a young Molly telling her own story, the story of her as a "ghost girl" growing up on her uncle's plantation, Agate Hill. Then the story is picked up by the headmistress of Gatewood Academy, a sort of finishing school for girls. The headmistress, Mariah Snow, sees herself in Molly and so never trusts or likes her. The next part is picked up by one of the teachers at Gatewood, when she and Molly head off on their own. Then we have a section told by Molly's husband's cousin, telling about her married life. Then it finishes up with Molly filling in some of the blanks as she looks back on her life from her old age.

This was a great book, filled with believable characters. Molly is flawed, but very likeable. There are parts of Molly's story, and Molly herself, that I think every woman can probably relate to.

This reminded me a little of one of Lee Smith's other novels, Fair and Tender Ladies, which is one of my all-time favorite books. On Agate Hill at first felt to me like the story that would have been Ivy Rowe's if she had gone to school. But then it did become its own story. I like Fair and Tender Ladies better because I liked Ivy Rowe better than Molly, but this is still a fantastic book. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 31 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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For my son

Joshua Field Seay

December 23, 1969-October 16, 2003
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Dear Dr. Ferrell: Remember me?
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I am like a ghost girl wafting through this ghost house seen my none. (12)
As I feared, Molly Petree does not mix well with the others, though
this may be a blessing, in my view, as it prevents her from spreading
any of her sexual poison among the rest of the girls. As of now, she
spends a great deal of time alone, often reading. Now a certain amount
of reading is a fine thing in my opinion, but too much is a bad idea
for a girl, leading to fancies, whims & nervousness. (154 - Mariah
Snow, Headmistress)
You have an eternal soul Molly Petree, she said, whether you want it or not.

Well I don't want it, Isaid. This is true. I did not say that I dont
want to go to Heaven either. I dont want to be an angel any more than
I want to be a ghost girl. I want to be a real girl and live as hard
as I can in this world, I dont want to lie in teh bed like Mama or be
sick like Mary White. Or be a lady. I would rather work my fingers to
the bone and die like Fannie. I want to live so hard and love so much
I use myself all the way up like a candle, it seems to me like this is
the point of it all, not Heaven. I want to have a demon lover and also
a real boy who will be my husband and love me more than life itself. I
want to live on my own land and not somebody elses plantation. I don't
give a damn about Heaven. (78)
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On Agate Hill is set in North Carolina in the years from 1872 to1927, and also in the present. The novel evokes the South in Reconstruction from an honest female perspective. It is the exuberantly romantic and episodic story of Molly Petree, an open-hearted and headstrong young Southern woman. The novel is framed with the letters and notes of a contemporary woman who seems almost a reincarnation of Molly herself.

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