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Historical Fiction Review    

 

Sophie and the Rising Sun
by Augusta Trobaugh
Dutton,2001
ISBN: 0-525-94627-6
 
  Augusta Trobaugh's Sophie and the Rising Sun, set in Salty Creek, Georgia, is a charming, innocent, novel about the power of love.

After mysterious Mr. Oto collapses on a bus on the outskirts of Salty Creek, the local sheriff and physician bring him into the community until his health can be restored. Strangers rarely enter their midst and locals enjoy speculating about Mr. Oto's past. When Miss Anne, a fair-minded "woman of a certain age" who hates gossip, invites Mr. Oto to be her gardener, the public tongue wagging ceases, and Mr. Oto seemingly blends into the hamlet. His reticent routine of planting for Miss Anne six days a week and Sunday walks to the marshes to paint make him virtually invisible to the townspeople until December 7, 1941.

Miss Anne and her best friend, Miss Sophie, know Mr. Oto's true character and his background but worry about the lynch mob mentality stirred up by Salty Creek's most vicious crank, Miss Ruth. An upstanding member of the local white church, Miss Ruth has been watching Mr. Oto for several years and believes the time has come to expose him as a heathen and foreigner. Miss Anne and Miss Sophie follow the courage of their convictions to save their beloved friend. Ms. Trobaugh's gentle characters are quietly determined in their convictions to behave honorably.

The author of two previous novels, Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb and Praise Jerusalem!, Augusta Trobaugh was one of the 1993 semifinalists in the Pirates Alley Faulkner Competition. She's received funding from the Georgia Council of the Arts and earned an M.A. from the University of Georgia.
 
Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

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