The Secret Hum of a Daisy is about Grace, a character who I loved from the first few pages. The story begins when Grace has to move in with her grandmother. Grace's mother died suddenly and Grace has never met her grandmother. Needless to say, Grace is angry and sad and is not ready to give her grandmother a chance. Grace is a character who will stay with me for a very long time.
I loved Grace's grandmother almost as much as I loved Grace. Grace's grandmother is also going through a great deal of grief. But she is a strong woman, willing to do what it takes to help Grace through this hard time.
This is one of those books with so many characters with depth. I finished the book feeling like I made a whole town of friends, and I think the author is intentional about that. Grace learns that people are there for you and each helps you heal in a different way. Because of that, you get to know many of the characters in this small town fairly well.
This book is heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. It is about love and loss. It is about what it feels like to carry pain and to let yourself heal. It made me feel a little bit like I did when I read Missing May Newbery Medal Winner by Cynthia Rylant for the first time many years ago. I have no idea how I even made that connection during those first few chapters, but that book was the memory that popped into my head.
From what I can tell, this is the author's first book. Really, no idea how someone can write a first book that is this good. I can't wait to see what else she writes. She shares a bit of her inspiration and a bit about a new book she is working on at her website. I am so not surprised that this book is getting so many starred reviews. (My thinking that it is a perfect book for 5th and 6th graders but I could be off by a bit.)
Definitely a must read for 2014. I am thinking this one will be on lots of Newbery lists. Did I mention that I LOVED it?