All her short life Jane Hope Kenard has heard about Chapel Hill, the Southern town where her mother grew up. Now she is going to live there. After her father’s death and the complicated problems with his estate, at last Jane Hope and her mother and siblings are moving from Philadelphia to live with her paternal grandparents in North Carolina. Jane Hope thinks she is off to a world of magnolias, persimmons, jasmine, and figs–and a great college that she hopes to attend. Jane Hope will find Chapel Hill not the enchanted land of her dreams–the great college is just for boys and slavery is not the benign institution she’s been told it is–but she manages to find her way in this new world. Jane learns to overcome her shyness, check her rashness, and open her heart to not just her grandparents, but her mother’s new husband too. Although the novel depicts Chapel Hill on the eve of the Civil War, the novel is about the person–Jane Hope–more than the place. Readers see a romantic, impetuous, tomboy grow into a kind, level-headed young woman.
The author lived in Chapel Hill during the 1930s where she would have had easy access to the standard published sources about the university and the town and would have heard stories about Chapel Hill life “before the War”. Many readers have enjoyed this novel for its depiction of Chapel Hill places and people.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.