In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an expert liar. Sometimes the lies are for her mama, Evie's sake-to explain away a bruise brought on by her quick-as-lightning temper. And sometimes the lies are to spite Evie, who longs to leave her unhappy marriage in Perry County, Alabama, and return to her beloved New Hampshire. But for Dixie and her brother, Alabama is home, a place of pine-scented breezes and hot, languid afternoons.
Though Dixie is learning that the family she once believed was happy has deep fractures, even her vivid imagination couldn't concoct the events about to unfold. Dixie records everything in her diary-her parents' fights, her father's drinking and his unexplained departure, and the arrival of Uncle Ray. Only when Dixie desperately needs help and is met with disbelief does she realize how much damage her past lies have done. But she has courage and a spirit that may yet prevail, forcing secrets into the open and allowing her to forgive and become whole again.
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"Narrator Amy Melissa Bentley is a spunky Dixie Dupree, who is dealing with the head-on collision between her innocence as an 11-year-old and the harsh reality of her life. Her parents are divorcing, and Dixie is frequently the recipient of her unstable mother's quick rages. To preserve appearances, Dixie tells lies, but her lies entangle her in a web of deceit that even her child's wild imagination could not have foreseen. Dixie's diary offers her version of the facts, providing insights into the abuse she endures. Bentley's accents and attitudes are just right as she portrays a bright, hopeful Dixie; her mercurial mother and alcoholic father; her older brother, AJ; and relatives who add to the family's problems rather than help. Gritty writing and a brutally truthful narration make this poignant listening. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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