Ordinary Springs, Florida is anything but ordinary. There are mysteries there. There is murder and betrayal. There are children abandoned and husbands gone mad. Ordinary Springs is pure Southern Gothic and above and beyond anything, it is also pure American small town. Where secrets don’t stay secrets forever and where rumors run the lives of its citizens.

Into this town is born Dory Gamble. After her mother abandons her when she is a toddler, her father raises her as best he can. This all works out well until the woman from New York moves in next door and her father is captivated by the soon to be widow.

Thus begins the coming of age of Dory Gamble. We watch her as she escapes from one horrible situation to the next and comes out all the stronger and more learned, until she ultimately finds true love and learns the truth behind the secrets that cloud her past–she is, in a sense, a modern day Tom Jones.

Told in unapologetically clear language, Lenore Hart’s Ordinary Springs is a tragic, gripping and, ultimately, satisfying examination of one girl’s climb into womanhood–so much of it similar to our own growing pains, or as Dory puts it:

Maybe sometimes it makes no difference that you’ve sworn never to make the same mistakes, never to repeat the old half-truths you were raised on. What did it all mean? Perhaps even fools are right, sometimes. I did cry then, because experience is such a hard teacher. And when would I ever get the lesson right?

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