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Leaving Rock Harbor    by Rebecca Chace order for
Leaving Rock Harbor
by Rebecca Chace
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Fourteen year-old Frankie Ross and her parents move from Poughkeepsie to the mill town of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts. Her father finds a job in the booming cotton mill while Frankie befriends two boys Winslow Curtis, privileged son of the town's leading politician, and Joe Barras, a millworker soon to become a union organizer.

When Joe goes off to war, Winslow is turned down for the service and remains at home. The three were inseparable in spirit, but their positions in life are at both ends of the spectrum.

From the start of World War I through the Jazz Age and the Great Depression, readers follow Frankie's life, wondering if the decisions she makes are the right ones for her. Frankie wonders also.

The bad working conditions at the mill orchestrate the formation of a union and the stock market crash in 1929 begins a decline in the prosperity of the small town. Frankie finds her own life declining also, with the possibility of true happiness eluding her. Or will it?

Frankie's story is told quietly and gently which somehow only emphasizes the anguish she feels. Rebecca Chace is also the author of Chautauqua Summer and Capture the Flag which were both greeted with high acclaim.

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