The Last Carolina Girl, a review by Di

posted in: Di | 0

Meagan Church

Sourcebooks Landmark
February 28, 2023
304 pages | Goodreads | Amazon

This is the story of Leah, a young 14 year old girl whose mother died at birth. Her father is a caretaker on a large estate where they live in a cabin. The estate owners and housekeeper treat Leah kindly. But when her father is killed in a work related accident, Leah is sent to a foster family. The foster family is far from what she knew or expected. The mother of the family appears to have deep secrets. And she seems to have a hidden agenda.

Leah is a nature lover and a free spirit. She loves living creatures, the beach, watching clouds in the sky. She experiences life with a positive attitude. She is a young girl who deserves so much more from life.

A very ugly part of history lurks in the background of this story. North Carolina created a State Eugenics Board for the obvious purpose of creating a pure race. It was active from 1933 until the 1970s, forcing sterilization of “imperfect” people. I was afraid of where this might lead.

This is a heartbreaking story about a young girl who lost her way. It was not of her own accord but because of circumstances that were forced on her. I found myself getting very emotional toward the end. Life is not fair, and certainly not for Leah.

I appreciated one of Leah’s final observations: “Sometimes family’s not who you’ve been given. It’s who you choose.” Very wise words.

Well written, well researched story. Great character development even though there was one character that was despicable. But realistic.

The author added her own notes at the end of the book. She revealed that this story is related to an incident in her own family. I have found that stories that have a personal connection to the author are the most heart felt.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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