Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read an ARC of this novel on my kindle, and I'm hoping that some things changed before going to press. On the kindle, I was always surprised when time jumped forward--there were no spaces or lines between paragraphs or an extra page.
Madelyn defines herself by her facial birthmark and as her mother's daughter so when the rich lady in town offers to educate and "better" her, she jumps at the chance. While keeping secrets about almost everyone in town, Maddie comes of age, falling in love, making friends, and learning more about her family and those around her. The atmosphere is pioneer era small town--Reliance is a fictional town on the Mississippi that missed its chance for a railroad. It's the Sin Society versus the suffragettes who sneak illegal birth control into town, which hits a little too close to home these days. There were bits of literary-ness, while other parts were jarring and crude, and the two didn't mesh together as well as I would have liked, resulting in the 3-star rating.
View all my reviews