Eva Marie Everson is a Southern writer. She grew up in the South, lives in the South, talks Southern, and writes the way she talks. If you like the soft Southern drawl, the slower pace of life, and a whopping good story, you’ll love The One True Love of Alice-Ann. As I read the book, I could hear Eva Marie telling me the story—the way she accents words, the cadence of them speeding up and slowing down to draw me in. I read the book in one sitting because I had to know what happened to Alice-Ann!
The story opens on December 7, 1941—Alice-Ann’s birthday. She is so excited about the party she is being allowed to have. Alice-Ann has decided since this is her sixteenth birthday, and she is now a woman, she is going to declare her love for the young man she’s crushed on since she was twelve, Boyd MacKay or Mack. But life interferes—December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and life for everyone, even in a small southern Georgia town, changed forever. Her birthday is ruined and all everyone talks about is whether there will be war and who from their town will enlist. Finally allowed to have her party on December 19th, Alice-Ann succeeds in telling Mack her feelings—he’s enlisting, but asks her to write to him.
And life goes on. Alice-Ann gets a job at the bank in town to help out with the family finances. She and her best friend, Maeve, learn to live with the deprivations and rationing although life is a tad easier on Alice-Ann’s farm. We live the waiting and anticipation for letters and news; the dashed hopes and depression when letters don’t come. The town’s first casualty occurs, and then Maeve’s brother is severely injured and sent home. To help out her friend’s temporarily (they hope) blinded and handicapped brother, Alice-Ann goes each afternoon after work to chat and read to Carlton and share a Co-cola.
You’ll want to read Alice-Ann’s story—to experience with her the ups and downs of life in the South—to observe her mature into a young woman who cares for others. Eva Marie has written us the South during World War II. You’ll never find a better picture of life in a small, South Georgia town. And you’ll never be as entranced as you are by Alice-Ann—who may be fortunate enough to find her one true love. Four stars.
Eva Marie is a multi-talented, multi-awarded author and the best of friends. I’ve watched her mature as a writer much as you’ll watch Alice-Ann mature into a wonderful young woman. She has written more than thirty novels including Five Brides, The Cedar Key Series, The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd), and others. She is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, mentors others in their writing journey’s, and speaks around the country. She and her husband, Dennis, live on a lakeshore in central Florida and are owned by their dachshund, Poods.
Tyndale House gave me a copy of The One True Love of Alice-AnnThe One True Love of Alice-Ann, but I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.