The Excellent Lombards
Mary Frances Lombard, who goes by Frankie in childhood and then “MK” in adolescence, thinks she knows what she wants from life: to take over her family’s apple orchard and run it with her brother, William. Life on the orchard involves hard work, patience, and a high tolerance for family eccentricities. There’s the terrifying, elderly Aunt May Hill, for one, and a rotating cast of cousins and siblings, all of whom have ties to the orchard. When a cousin named Philip arrives and stakes his claim as May Hill’s favorite–and a potential heir–Mary Frances’ world trembles. And when William commits the ultimate betrayal in heading off to college, Mary Frances must come to terms with the idea that the future is not as certain as she’d thought.
Jane Hamilton writes movingly of a young girl’s changing views of her life and ambitions, and one of the most poignant elements of The Excellent Lombards is Mary Frances’ realization that she too, may be destined for a world beyond the orchard. A place of safety and certainty gives way to previously unconsidered possibilities, and Mary Frances is poised to gain a new understanding of what she owes her family, and herself.
Grand Central Publishing