This heartfelt story is set in the South and told with a Southern charm. Within the first few pages, I could feel the emotions of the main character, Maggie, and understand why she finds comfort in lying about her family life. If only her sugar sweet lies were truth, and little Maggie didn't have a mother that was schizophrenic.
Maggie and her Daddy move to Pearl, Louisiana into a small house near the state mental hospital, where her mother is a patient. The house is equipped with pink azaleas, a tree house in the front yard, and a little girl named Sam. She seems to be a permanent fixture to the house, arriving at a moment's notice on her bicycle with a carefree smile and untamed strawberry-colored hair. Then one day, Sam can no longer hide the truth after appearing beaten. Over a game of "Go Fish" and peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, the girls stop lying about their mamas and realize they share a common bond: mothers that are troubled with sicknesses.
The descriptive, vibrant author takes us on a journey through the lives of two eleven-year-olds as they experience events that most adults will never encounter. They learn how to cope with family issues, a distant community, and learning life lessons. Pour a glass of sweet tea or coffee milk, sit on your porch swing, and enjoy this great read. Well done, Toni Teepell! The truth really is worth telling!