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On Agate Hill

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On Agate Hill Cover

ISBN13: 9781565124523
ISBN10: 1565124529
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Following her 2001 Southern Book Critics Circle award — winning novel, The Last Girls, Smith's 10th novel chronicles the post — Civil War life of a precocious Southern orphan using a slapdash patchwork of journal entries, letters, poems, recipes, songs, catechism and court records. Molly Petree, the daughter of a slain Confederate soldier, begins a diary on her 13th birthday in May 1872, near Hillsborough, N.C., at Agate Hill, the plantation of her legal guardian, Uncle Junius Hall. Seeing herself as 'a ghost girl wafting through this ghost house,' Molly falls under the spiteful devices of Selena, the scheming housekeeper, who marries a terminally ill Junius to inherit the plantation. Under Selena's watch, Molly is neglected, mistreated and raped before Simon Black, who fought alongside Molly's father, rescues her and enrolls her in the Gatewood Academy, where she becomes 'an educated, fancy woman.' After graduating, Molly marries sweet-talking Jacky, but tragedy dogs her: Jacky dies a particularly miserable death, their baby dies and when Molly returns to Agate Hill, she finds it in ruins. Molly's story is moving, but Smith's structure — the narrative's pieces are the contents of 'a box of old stuff' found during Agate Hill's renovation — is needlessly contrived. (Sept. 19)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Set among the ashes of the Civil War, Lee Smith's new novel brings a dead world blazingly to life. Other contemporary novels — Stephen Wright's 'The Amalgamation Polka,' for instance, and E.L. Doctorow's 'The March' — have reimagined the period by evoking a you-are-there immediacy, plunking the reader bewilderingly into the middle of battles and field hospitals. But in her 12th novel, Smith goes... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Lee Smith is quite simply one of North Carolina's treasures, and the publication of a new book by her is always a happy event....The first part of the novel may seem slow. But so much happens in the last 200 pages that we are, by the end, thankful for the pace of the early sections." Charlotte Observer

Review:

"Smith has worked her magic yet again; her rollicking humor, keen sense of place, deft characterizations, and raucous storytelling bring to life yet another set of memorable people and places." Library Journal

Review:

"One of those books you can either roam contentedly around in for days, or devour at once, in a rush of pure pleasure. Take your pick." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Raised in the ruin of the post-Civil War American South, young Molly Petree, now orphaned, has no intention of wasting time on self-pity. 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.

Synopsis:

A dusty box discovered in the wreckage of a once prosperous plantation on Agate Hill in North Carolina contains the remnants of an extraordinary life: diaries, letters, poems, songs, newspaper clippings, court records, marbles, rocks, dolls, and bones. It's through these treasured mementos that we meet Molly Petree.

Raised in those ruins and orphaned by the Civil War, Molly is a refugee who has no interest in self-pity. When a mysterious benefactor appears out her father's past to rescue her, she never looks back.

Spanning half a century, On Agate Hill follows Molly's passionate, picaresque journey through love, betrayal, motherhood, a murder trial--and back home to Agate Hill under circumstances she never could have imagined.

Synopsis:

  • A Washington Post Book World Best Book
  • An Atlanta Journal-Constitution Notable Book
Indomitable, unforgettable, and orphaned by the Civil War, Molly Petree is about to embark on an extraordinary journey toward a life she could never have imagined…

About the Author

Lee Smith is an American fiction author who typically incorporates much of her home roots in the Southeastern United States in her works of literature.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Letter from Tuscany Miller

Agate Hill 5

Notes from Tuscany

Paradise Lost 129

Further Notes from Tuscany

Up on Bobcat 217

Plain View 273

Another Country 311

Final Notes from Tuscany

Acknowledgments 365

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Krista Smith-Moroziuk, April 29, 2008 (view all comments by Krista Smith-Moroziuk)
This is a great book. Smith brings to life memorizing people and places that you do not soon forget.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
mhighton, October 30, 2006 (view all comments by mhighton)
Opening this book is like finding the key to an ancient cedar chest in a forgotten attic. It is full to the brim with post-Civil War trivia and tragedy lying side by side. These are the belongings of Molly Petree, a young girl, orphaned and living in a crumbling plantation, Agate Hill: an ancient doll named Robert E Lee. The memory of black man hanged and twisting in the wind on a giant elm tree. The young ladies of town posed as a "tableau vivant" of the nine muses. Sudden friendships. Lingering deaths. Last minute saves from cruel scavengers only too ready to prey on the helpless.

Lee Smith has added another treasure to her dazzling collection of stories about the south. "Agate HIll" is a wonderful place to spend a ccouple of days caught up in Molly's story. I wish I still had that pleasure ahead of me. It's a lovely book.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781565124523
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Smith, Lee
Publisher:
A Shannon Ravenel Book
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
North carolina
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20060919
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

On Agate Hill Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565124523 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Following her 2001 Southern Book Critics Circle award — winning novel, The Last Girls, Smith's 10th novel chronicles the post — Civil War life of a precocious Southern orphan using a slapdash patchwork of journal entries, letters, poems, recipes, songs, catechism and court records. Molly Petree, the daughter of a slain Confederate soldier, begins a diary on her 13th birthday in May 1872, near Hillsborough, N.C., at Agate Hill, the plantation of her legal guardian, Uncle Junius Hall. Seeing herself as 'a ghost girl wafting through this ghost house,' Molly falls under the spiteful devices of Selena, the scheming housekeeper, who marries a terminally ill Junius to inherit the plantation. Under Selena's watch, Molly is neglected, mistreated and raped before Simon Black, who fought alongside Molly's father, rescues her and enrolls her in the Gatewood Academy, where she becomes 'an educated, fancy woman.' After graduating, Molly marries sweet-talking Jacky, but tragedy dogs her: Jacky dies a particularly miserable death, their baby dies and when Molly returns to Agate Hill, she finds it in ruins. Molly's story is moving, but Smith's structure — the narrative's pieces are the contents of 'a box of old stuff' found during Agate Hill's renovation — is needlessly contrived. (Sept. 19)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Lee Smith is quite simply one of North Carolina's treasures, and the publication of a new book by her is always a happy event....The first part of the novel may seem slow. But so much happens in the last 200 pages that we are, by the end, thankful for the pace of the early sections."
"Review" by , "Smith has worked her magic yet again; her rollicking humor, keen sense of place, deft characterizations, and raucous storytelling bring to life yet another set of memorable people and places."
"Review" by , "One of those books you can either roam contentedly around in for days, or devour at once, in a rush of pure pleasure. Take your pick."
"Synopsis" by , Raised in the ruin of the post-Civil War American South, young Molly Petree, now orphaned, has no intention of wasting time on self-pity. 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.
"Synopsis" by ,
A dusty box discovered in the wreckage of a once prosperous plantation on Agate Hill in North Carolina contains the remnants of an extraordinary life: diaries, letters, poems, songs, newspaper clippings, court records, marbles, rocks, dolls, and bones. It's through these treasured mementos that we meet Molly Petree.

Raised in those ruins and orphaned by the Civil War, Molly is a refugee who has no interest in self-pity. When a mysterious benefactor appears out her father's past to rescue her, she never looks back.

Spanning half a century, On Agate Hill follows Molly's passionate, picaresque journey through love, betrayal, motherhood, a murder trial--and back home to Agate Hill under circumstances she never could have imagined.

"Synopsis" by ,
  • A Washington Post Book World Best Book
  • An Atlanta Journal-Constitution Notable Book
Indomitable, unforgettable, and orphaned by the Civil War, Molly Petree is about to embark on an extraordinary journey toward a life she could never have imagined…
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