Set in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, Diary of a Wildflower spotlights the childhood and teenage years of a young girl named Lorelei Starr. Narrated in Lorelei’s first person voice, we are blessed with her innermost thoughts, feelings, and dreams.
Life in the mountains is tough, for women and for men, but especially for the women. Childbearing saps them of their strength, while leading to an early grave. Lorelei loses her own overtired mother when she is only ten, leaving her and her siblings to bring up the younger children.
Education is almost out of their grasp, too, as the local school in Deep Bottom only offers studies through the eighth grade. And then, like a miracle, a teacher appears who offers high school classes on Saturdays. Lorelei finishes high school this way.
Our story also reveals the harsh, punitive father that Lorelei dreams of escaping. And when she finally does, after graduating, she ends up in Charlottesville, working as a maid in a luxurious home.
How does Lorelei finally discover that her dreams are right within her grasp? What obstacles will she find along the way, and how will she ultimately realize her fantasies of love, while still managing to “save” her younger sister from their father?
Lorelei’s story was so vivid and real to me that I felt I was there with her, even though the era of the 1920s was a time period I had only ever read about or seen in movies. I liked how Lorelei aspired for independence, and did not try to find a “prince on a white horse” to save her. She knew that she must save herself. But she also did not rule out the possibility of love and the happiness of a home. A delightful read that I was sorry to set down at the end. Five stars.