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In the Midst of Innocence by Deborah Hining

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Ten-year-old Pearl Wallace is the protagonist of this novel set in the East Tennessee mountains during the Great Depression and Prohibition. The daughter of a moonshiner, Pearl wrestles with how to protect her best friend not only from an abusive step-father but also from racist attacks upon her. Then her biggest question becomes whether or how to confide in and/or enlist help from Emily Weston, a missionary teacher from a more affluent and privileged background, in dealing with her struggles. “Hining beautifully expresses Pearl’s inner and spoken voices . . . and vivifies a compelling twist on the familiar evangelistic journey of saving the uncivilized. An endearing ballad of the struggle for existence and understanding.”  —Booklist

Durham, North Carolina: Light Messages, 2017. 292 pages. Trade paperback,