Readers were first introduced to ten-year-old Jim Glass in Earley’s first novel, Jim the Boy. Jim is now a high school senior at a crossroads in time, its 1941 and the world is poised to begin WWII. During this uncertain time, Jim enjoys life in the countryside of Aliceville, North Carolina with his mother and uncles while coping with the angst of being in love with classmate Chrissie Steppe. Chrissie lives with her mother, a servant for the Bucklaws, on their mountainside property. The Bucklaws are wealthy, influential and controlling, they could turn Chrissie and her mother out at any time so Chrissie has few options when their son Arthur, Bucky to his friends, stakes his claim. Bucky has joined the Navy and expects Chrissie to be waiting for him when he returns from his tour of duty on board the USS California stationed at Pearl Harbor. Jim vows to win Chrissie’s heart and relies upon the advice of his uncles but with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, finds himself wondering how he can carry on with life as usual when the country is under attack. With the Pearl Harbor attack, Jim and his classmates suffer a loss of innocence even as they struggle to come to terms with what has happened.
With a carefully developed cast of characters, Earley plums the depth of the human heart while spinning a sweet, poignant coming of age tale that transports readers back to a simpler age. This is one sequel that doesn’t disappoint.