Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge is a wonderful book of Oxford early in the reign of Elizabeth 1; when student Walter Scott was dreaming of going to sea for her, and could still attend lectures taught by Edmund Campion. The story centers around a Canon of Christ College and his children. Through them over the course of a year, you see Oxford in all its seasons and all moods. Some romance, some adventure, and a lot of inspiration.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver; is the story of Missie, who had managed to graduate high school without getting pregnant, and saving up enough for a car decides to head west. Away from Kentucky and a life the feels not quite right. Along the way, she changes her name to Taylor and ends up in Arizona.
You need to suspend your disbelief a few times, but overall this a beautifully written story of a place and those key people and decisions that help determine what sort of adult you want to be.
Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter: is the story of Freckles a young orphan who has aged out of a Chicago orphanage and applies for a job with a logging crew. He was tasked with guarding a forest of valuable trees until the crew can get there a year later. Porter a naturalist, in this lovely coming-of-age story makes the woods come alive as Freckles finds his way to manhood charged with this great task. The ending is a saccharine, but well worth the read.
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