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Om Winter Run
This novel of a boyhood in 1940s Virginia offers ';a graceful, compassionate ode to farm life in a bygone era' (Publishers Weekly). Charlie Lewis is the only child of metropolitan parents who, after World War II, decide to move to the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and live on a ';gentleman's farm' near Charlottesville. Just six years old when his family settles in to their new life, Charlie discovers his personal version of heaven. Charlie has a naturalalmost supernaturalaffinity for the land and its animals. His encounters with an ancient, half-blind mule, a boar hog and his harem, a mother fox, and four domestic dogs gone wild educate and intrigue himand lead him to contemplate the mysteries of their Maker. Wanting to learn all he can, he instinctively turns to a group of older black men, some of whom work the farm, others who are neighbors. Jim Crow laws are still very much evident, but Charlie's passions endear him to these men, who understand that he is lonely even if he does not. They watch out for him, and morethey love him. Capturing the innocence and wonder of childhood, Winter Run is ';a very sweet, almost mystical tale of a boy who was amazed by what nature brought him, his growing up, and his understanding that all things, even life as he knows it, are passing' (Booklist).