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New Hope

New Hope by Ellen Gray Massey
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In the Ozarks in 1935 Claudia begins a new school with an optimistic name, New Hope. Still smarting from being jilted years before in front of her students, she has since dedicated her life to her students. She has a good year in her isolated one-room school on a river bluff. Falling for a first grade boy and his older sister, she becomes incensed when their father, Harve, won't let the girl attend school. Accosting him, she discovers his need of his daughter's help and his background of an alcoholic wife who ran away three years earlier. Very ill and drunk, the wife interrupts the school demanding her children. Claudia handles the crisis and that afternoon and the next day helps Harve care for her until she dies.

Censored by the community for babysitting Harve's children in his house and being with Harve alone the two nights helping nurse his wife, she is hired back to teach the school next year. At the last day of school Harve stands up to remind everyone what a great teacher Claudia is and how at his and his dying wife's request, she stayed with him on her last hours.

Understanding her actions, everyone comes to the church for their wedding and give them a shivaree. Though the school board offers Claudia the school. she doesn't want it now. Next Christmas she presents Harve with a baby girl. She named her Hope.

Hard Shell Word Factory; September 2004
164 pages; ISBN 9780759946729
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: New Hope
Author: Ellen Gray Massey
 
ISBNs
0759946728
9780759946729
9780759946736