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Dear America: Like the Willow Tree
My name is Lydia. This is my story. . . .In 1918, as the Great War rages in Europe, the
Spanish influenza tears a brutal path across the United
States, leaving devastation in its wake. Suddenly, eleven year-
old Lydia Pierce and her older brother, Daniel, find
themselves orphans of the flu, and are taken by their
grieving uncle to be raised in the Shaker community at
Sabbathday Lake. Thrust into the Shakers’ unfamiliar
way of life, Lydia, a fiercely independent girl, must
grapple with a new world that is nothing like the
one she used to know.
Lydia must work hard, and all the while she
worries about her headstrong brother, who has run away.
In time, and with her courageous spirit, Lydia learns to
find the joy in living with the Shakers—yet she cannot
stop wondering, will Daniel ever return?
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