We first meet Peggy Hamilton as a seven-year-old girl in 1953. Because of her father’s temporary position at Harvard, Peggy and her family are spending a year in Boston. Peggy is bright and imaginative, and she’s captivated her class with tales of living on the family farm in Vermont. The only thing is, Peggy’s permanent home is in Michigan and the family only vacations in Vermont. Although embarrassed when the lie is revealed, a family friend assures Peggy she must be a very persuasive and clever girl to have fooled people for as long as she did. From there we follow Peggy as she grows from childhood into adulthood, with ten interconnecting stories. Throughout, Peggy experiences a variety of happy, disappointing and heartbreaking events.
I loved this book. Laura C. Stevenson is a masterful storyteller, with a definite way with words. While Liar from Vermont revolves mainly around a young character, adults will certainly enjoy reading about the cast of characters Ms. Stevenson has created. Peggy is a precocious and highly intelligent child who seems to have had the misfortune of being born in an age where women were still expected to take a backseat to men. With a tendency towards being a “tomboy”, Peggy is often corrected by her mother regarding what is and isn’t expected of young ladies in 1950s society. As Peggy gets older, she becomes saddened and frustrated by the effects of “progress” within the Vermont farming community and we see through this through the progressing stories.
I found this book to be a kind of Jane Austen meets Lucy Maude Montgomery meets Harper Lee, yet unique in its own right and I absolutely adored it. There is definitely a charming, endearing and old-fashioned feel to Ms. Stevenson’s writing – something sorely lacking in most modern-day (YA) novels. I would recommend Liar from Vermont to anyone searching for a lovely coming of age novel that will stay with you long after the last page.
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton
eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.