Young Adult

Grace Boivert and Alice Roosevelt have been friends since birth, but Alice doesn’t know Grace is a dryad. Alice plans for them to visit Newport, Rhode Island, staying with a friend. Then they plan to travel to the Adirondacks in New York where they will meet up with the rest of Alice’s family, including the vice president! Arriving at Newport, the girls meet Kit Rookwood. Enchanted by Alice, he has nary a kind word for Grace. After attending parties in Newport almost every night, it is time for the girls to move on to the Adirondacks. Alice, upset because she’ll be leaving Kit, does not want to leave. They ride in a wagon to get up to the mountains. When they make it to the cabins, Kit is already there! Now he’s asking Grace to forgive him for his actions in Newport. Should she pardon him? Or is this some kind of trick?

“Evergreen” is uniquely crafted with intricate weaving of fiction and history making a believable account. Ms. Doyle has done her research on the Roosevelt’s and, in particular, Alice. A coming of age story, Grace comes to know and appreciate her powers as a dryad while maturing as a human, outpacing Alice. Little action occurs in this tale beyond the mundane daily activities of upper-class families, and the story gets lost in copious detail.  And, as central character, Alice is underdeveloped. The Roosevelt children are only in the story because historically, they were there. There is no development or depth in any of the Roosevelts. Still, it will be interesting to see what happens in the next tale in this series.

Belinda Wilson