The Goodbye Season

( 2 )

Overview

Mercy Kaplan doesn’t want to be like her mother, saddled with crying kids and failing crops for the rest of her life. Mercy longs to be on her own—until her wish comes true in the worst possible way. It is 1918 and a deadly flu epidemic ravages the country, leaving her utterly alone and penniless.

Mercy soon finds a job with Mrs. Wilder. But there’s something unsettling about the woman, whose brother died under mysterious circumstances. And then there’s Daniel, who could sweep a...

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The Goodbye Season

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Overview

Mercy Kaplan doesn’t want to be like her mother, saddled with crying kids and failing crops for the rest of her life. Mercy longs to be on her own—until her wish comes true in the worst possible way. It is 1918 and a deadly flu epidemic ravages the country, leaving her utterly alone and penniless.

Mercy soon finds a job with Mrs. Wilder. But there’s something unsettling about the woman, whose brother died under mysterious circumstances. And then there’s Daniel, who could sweep a girl off her feet if she isn’t careful.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The history—of the epidemic and of early feminism—creates a dramatic story, and Mercy’s personal struggle for independence is universal.”–Booklist

“Mercy tells her story in a gentle, cadenced voice filled with youthful hope, simple wisdom and gritty endurance. Perfect similes capture the flavor of Mercy’s bittersweet life during the epidemic of 1918.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] compelling, tautly written novel.”—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In this compelling, tautly written novel, Mercy Kaplan, 16, feels the weight of endless daily chores and caring for her younger siblings. She has a loving family, but she longs for the freedom to be herself. Times are hard as World War I drags to an end. Mercy's family can no longer afford her keep, so she hires out miles away on the Bonner farm, and her dreams of freedom slip further away. Yet her troubles are just beginning. The influenza epidemic of 1918 sweeps across the country. No sooner does Mercy begin to feel at ease with the Bonners than tragedy strikes them, and she heads back home, only to find that her family has died. She soon gets a job as housekeeper and nanny for the widow Wilder's two small children, but there is something about the household that puts Mercy on edge. Is it the attention Daniel Wilder, the handsome, older stepson, pays her, or is it the peculiar behavior of Cora Wilder that causes Mercy's uneasiness and concern? In the end, events spiral into disaster, and Mercy struggles to be true to herself.—Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Kirkus Reviews
At the close of World War I, a Texas sharecropper's daughter painfully learns about loss and suffering when the Spanish Influenza kills those she loves. Seventeen-year-old Mercy wonders how to "break free and make a life for herself without marrying some fool boy" and ending up saddled with four kids like her Mama. When she's forced to work on another farm, Mercy gains strength from Mama's advice to look for heart signs. Likewise, she copes with being the lone flu survivor of her family by heeding Mama's exhortation to think about "the good that might be coming." When she's hired by the Wilder family and falls in love with the two young children and their older stepbrother, she's determined not to end up like Mama-until she realizes she's just like Mama and must follow her heart. Mercy tells her story in a gentle, cadenced voice filled with youthful hope, simple wisdom and gritty endurance. Perfect similes capture the flavor of Mercy's bittersweet life during the epidemic of 1918. (Fiction. 12-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In a story set at the end of World War I, the poverty of her Texas sharecropping family sends 17-year-old Mercy Kaplan away to support herself. Mercy feels worn down by the responsibility of helping her mother care for her younger siblings and is determined to avoid the trap of marriage and the endless work it entails. As she is learning to make her way in the world working for the Bonners, a kind farm couple, the 1918 influenza epidemic strikes, taking their lives. The flu completely wipes out her own family and, in the midst of her grief, she must quickly find work. She takes a position as housekeeper and nanny to the lovely widow Wilder's two young children. But all is not well in this household. While Mercy revels in luxuries she has never before experienced and reluctantly responds to the attention of the elder stepson, disturbing events build to a violent and tragic climax. Marian Hale's powerful story (Holt, 2009) winds its painful, courageous way through unimaginable loss, the strength of love, and in an interesting twist, ends in a gothic mystery. Georgette Perna's soft voice and gentle narration portrays Mercy's sweet, pliant disposition as well as her interior life that reflects the struggles of a spirited young woman who must make her own way in a difficult world while remaining true to herself.—Roxanne Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805088557
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Marian Hale is the author of acclaimed historical novels for young adults--The Truth About Sparrows, Dark Water Rising, and The Goodbye Season. She lives with her husband, daughter, and grandbabies on the Texas Coast.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    The goodbye season

    Very good book loved every minute of it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Amazing book

    Its a very good book! Its kind of sad but it really gives u a gret picture of what life was like back then!!!!! It also makes think of how important family is an that you should treasure it with all of your heart!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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