The novel centers around two children, brother (Oz) and sister (Lou), their best friend Diamond, an invalid mother, a tragically killed father, and a great grandmother living in the mountains of Virginia in 1940. I laughed a lot through this book, especially Diamond’s theories on life and trying to make sense of a world he has never seen outside the mountains. I grew to love him very much.
Lou is a feisty girl who has been well educated by her father and is the thread that tries the hardest to put back together a broken family. Oz, a timid shy little boy, after much love and loss at the age of eight, no longer so. He grows up very quickly with all the burdens his young years has forced him to carry and the new way of life the children learn without electricity or running water. Not to mention a barn full of animals that need tending and miles of land that need farming.
There is also Cotton, family friend and attorney who the children become very attached. Beloved Eugene, who would do anything to protect the family that took him in, that he now calls his own by Louisa Mae, the matriarch in the novel.