Plot or Premise
What I Liked
The book picks up mid-war with the latest skirmish. The one family, the Gutshalls, has let slip to the other family that there is a girl coming to their house, a girl named Lolly-Madonna who will be a potential mate for one of the sons. Except it is entirely fictitious. Until the second family, the Feathers, sees a girl hiking along the road and decides it must be Lolly-Madonna and therefore kidnap her to get back at the Gutshalls, depriving them of their prize. The girl protests, but to no avail. The war escalates with incursions on each other’s territory, shots fired, stills overturned, pigs slaughtered. And a budding romance with the girl.
What I Didn’t Like
The story is incredibly depressing from start to finish. With a giant plot-hole right in the middle…three of the kids are still friendly and talk occasionally, pretending to fight when they need to but not doing any real harm to each other. And when the Feathers tell their Gutshall friend that they have Lolly-Madonna, he doesn’t say, “But we made it up”. It would have ended the story. Instead, he decides to say nothing, tell his parents, and they get it in their head to say nothing but maybe they should rescue her. Just as an excuse to keep the feud going…if one does something, even in retaliation, the other has to respond. And the ending is beyond depressing, not to mention you don’t really “see” the ending, you just turn the page and find out how it all ended.
The Bottom Line
There’s a reason this is out of print.