What a ride! From the beginning pages of this book, Starla captured my heart and even though there were times, I questioned her judgment I knew that she was only nine and she was living her life. The time is 1963 and segregation was just in its beginning stages. Living in Mississippi with her Mamie, Starla led tried to lead a straight life under the watchful eye of Mamie; she didn’t get away with much. Her father was working out on the oil rig and her mom, well she left when Starla was a youngster so she could become a singer in Nashville. Starla has a lot to say and if you like spunky and determined girls, you would love her. She was only trying to help that afternoon but it didn’t work out as planned, Starla ended up losing her Fourth of July privileges. A friend of Mamie’s caught her enjoying the festival though and Starla knew she was in hot water. Her plans of running away surfaced. On the road, she was picked up by Eula, a black woman; Starla thought her luck had changed. Dirt roads and meeting the liking of Wallace, Starla didn’t know what she got herself into. He was one bear of a man, not the friendliest person Starla had run into but she had nowhere else to go right now. The longer she stayed, the longer she felt connected to Eula and the white baby James that was in the car. Things are getting heated up in the house and Starla needs to get back on the road to get to Nashville and connect up with her mother; her first step in getting her life back together.
For being a nine-year old Starla had quite an adventure. She was so fearful of her grandmother and her threats to send her away if she caused any more trouble, that Starla just got up and ran away. Meeting up with Eula, she hesitated when she saw baby James in the vehicle and the more she got to know Eula, she didn’t know what to think. She wanted to trust her but the pieces just didn’t match up. When Eula finally opened up to her, Starla trusted her and their bond was fabulous. It was like Eula finally had a friend she could trust. The journey on the way to Nashville opened both the eyes of Eula and Starla and the historical implications of segregation added so much to this book. Starla is this girl full of dreams and hopes but she is blind to the world around and then we have Eula who knows the world around her and only has a few dreams. It’s black and white, complimenting one another. This is truly a superb book and I highly recommend it!