A dusty box discovered in the wreckage of a North Carolina plantation house contains the remnants of an extraordinary life: an 1870s diary of a young girl, letters, poems, songs, newspaper clippings, court records, marbles, rocks, dolls, and bones. It's through these treasured mementos that we meet the unforgettable heroine of Lee Smith's new novel.
Raised in the smoldering ruin of the post- Civil War American South, young Molly Petree, now orphaned, has no intention of wasting time on self-pity. She means to live her life to its fullest. So, when a mysterious benefactor appears out of her father's past to rescue her, she doesn't look back-- until she is an old woman and returns to the farm on Agate Hill. Spanning half a century, "On Agate Hill" tells the story of a woman who risks everything to remain true to herself. It's a novel of obsessive love, unexpected adventures, and luck-- both good and bad. Like a ballad of the Old South, Molly Petree's tale resonates with passion, humor, and drama.
Lee Smith, a virtuoso of voice and vision, creates flesh-and-blood characters tempered with equal doses of comedy and tragedy. Like her popular and beloved novels "Oral History" and "Fair and Tender Ladies," "On Agate Hill" is storytelling at its very best.