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Summer of the Redeemers

Description:
This lyrical and suspenseful novel, set in the Deep South, has at its center Bekkah Rich, crossing the border between the enchanted world of adolescence and the grown-up world of enticement, danger, and evil. The story it tells, the voice that tells it, and the spell it casts are utterly original - and indelibly its own. For Bekkah, growing up on Kali Oka Road deep in rural Mississippi, the summer of 1963 is a sunlit time of lazy, playful days, and friends scaring each other with tales of the mysterious child murder that happened ten years before at Cry Baby Creek. But playfulness abruptly ceases when Kali Oka is invaded by strangers . . . and her best friend's baby sister is stolen. A menacing, secretive religious cult, rumored to be involved in baby selling, snake handling, and brainwashing, moves into the abandoned church at the end of the road. And occupying the old McInnis place is Nadine Andrews, a single woman with bleached blond hair, a mysterious past, nine horses, and a penchant for young boys. To Bekkah, the members of the cult are a darkly tantalizing curiosity she becomes obsessed with . . . especially the wild and angry young Greg, who vandalizes her precious possessions. But Nadine represents something even stronger - Bekkah's craving for the freedom, independence, and excitement that riding beautiful horses represents. With her parents immersed in work and turbulent local unrest, Bekkah has to deal with temptations by herself . . . which she does by yielding to them. By the time fall and school arrive, kidnapping and murder have occurred on Kali Oka Road, and Bekkah discovers that nothing is quite what it seems: goodness can mask evil, godliness can mask deviltry, kindness can mask lust, fantasy ghosts can be all too real, allies and enemies can bewilderingly trade places, and even the bedrock of family unity can threaten to splinter. Set during a marvelously rendered Mississippi summer, Carolyn Haines' lush, authentic novel about the passage from innocence into adulthood crackles with all the electricity and passion of a hot August night in the Deep South.

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