The year is 1907. A mammoth tornado passing through Princeton, Mississippi, takes away Jake MacGregor's parents and their home, his beloved uncle, and his sister's home. He inherits a mercantile store in Taylorsburg, Mississippi, and an underdeveloped farm nearby. With his hopes of attending the new school of pharmacy scheduled to open at Ole Miss dashed, how can Jake overcome his frustration?
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Loretta Larson is attractive and accomplished. She has so much money that her teaching salary is not enough for her to notice. But what she does not have is a man who loves her. She suffers in a damaging relationship with a cruel and dishonest banker.
Ten-year-old Trudy loves Papa more than anybody else until she hears him slap Zoe, her mother. She is so angry at him she wishes he'd die. When he accidentally sets fire to the family mansion and dies in the fire, she is not prepared for the shock.
The year is 1910. Trudy Cameron, an 11-year-old girl introduced to listeners in The Dream Bucket, meets a 13-year-old neighbor, Manuela Blayne. Trudy and her seven-year-old stepsister, Bailey Benton, make friends with Manuela, while Trudy realizes she can never understand her new friend.