From the book jacket: Young Tessa is a diminutive girl, far too small for
farm work and the object of ridicule by both her own family and the other
children in their isolated Midwestern community. Her father seems to believe in
nothing beyond his crops, certainly not education for his misfit daughter. When
a mysterious, entrancing librarian comes to town, full of fabulous stories,
earthy wisdom and potions for the lovelorn, she takes Tessa under her wing,
teaching her to read and to believe in herselfand a whole new magical world of
possibilities opens up. But even as she blooms, Tessas father begins
sexually abusing her. And her mentor carries a dark secret of her own that
finally causes her to drown herself. Tessa runs off, following Marys footsteps,
to join the circus as a trapeze artist but she remains haunted by her past.
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