The story of Molly Petree is brought to life through Molly’s journal, letters, newspaper clippings, and court records found in an old home called Agate Hill. Molly’s tale begins at age thirteen, set in North Carolina during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and continues into the early twentieth century. An orphan because of the war, Molly must learn how to survive in the harsh South.
Smith’s 10th novel, On Agate Hill, is thoroughly engaging. Molly is taken in by her uncle who, on the verge of death, marries his scheming, gold digging housekeeper. Selena all but kicks Molly out. Fortunately, a friend of Molly’s father becomes her benefactor and sends her away to Gatewood Academy. From there we follow Molly on a roller coaster ride of love, betrayal, treachery, and a spectacular murder trial.
I read this book on a whim and could not put it down. Not one for historical fiction, especially based in this time period, I was pleasantly surprised how easily I was drawn into the story of Molly Petree. 5 out of 5 stars.