I really liked this book, about a young girl in 1936 who has ridden the rails with her father for years, but as she gets older, he puts her on a train to Manifest, Kansas, a town where he spent time growing up. Without him, she feels lost and abandoned, even though the people around her seem to accept her and take her in.
Searching for clues to her father’s childhood, she uncovers old letters and mementos from two young boys who got into mischief and caused mayhem back in 1918. Using old newspapers and the stories she hears from Sadie, an outcast lady on the edge of town, the girl learns about Manifest, its history, its joys and tragedies and how all of those things made her dad who he was.
The writing style reminded me a lot of Fannie Flagg – funny and touching characters, great storytelling, everything wrapped up neatly in a package but a really, really sweet and enjoyable book.