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Cass Anne Marie came squalling into her mother’s waiting arms, a mother who had known the hard edge of expecting after three previous stillbirths. A fierce winter crept over their small mountain community and took Cass Anne’s life, but her mother—“cried her back"—crying so hard she brought her infant’s soul back to the living, breathing world. The residents of the community believe this opened Cass Anne up to the devil so they shun her and her mama, protecting their families from the “devil child.”
In an effort to tip the cosmic scales in her favor, Cass Anne fills her days with small kindnesses for her unsuspecting neighbors. When she begins to receive omens of bad things to come, folks are certain the devil is using the child. Cass Anne isn’t to be believed and it is only after tragedy strikes that the town is forced to see that omens can be a thing of beauty and a young girl can be an instrument of grace.
In language as lovely as a curling mountain creek, A. LaFaye tells the story of Cass Anne Marie, born during a nasty winter on Crowley’s Ridge. Loved back to life by her mama, the young girl is shunned by the mining community because of her gift of omens. And yet this gift might prove to be their salvation. Pretty Omens, a story-in-poems by a pitch-perfect author, reads like a classic. —Mary Logue, author of Sleep Like a Tiger and Lake of Tears
In LaFaye’s strong, fast-paced novel-in-verse, the voices of her characters ring true, the language dazzles, drawing the reader into Cass Anne’s story of love and redemption, religious intolerance, and belief. —Paul Janeczko, author of Firefly, July, Publisher’s Weekly Book of 2014Told in sparse free verse poems, LaFaye’s gritty tale of a young girl’s struggle against a town’s superstitions, is both powerful, and heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring. —Han Nolan, National Book Award winner, Dancing on the Edge