The year is 1883 and Lavinia Spencer Rexford, a motherless 12 year old girl, resides with her maternal grandmother and great uncle at Millstone Manor in Chaddsford, Pennsylvania. On Lavinia’s 12th birthday, her grandmother presents her with a journal, and instructs her to focus on the seven heavenly virtues in the upcoming year, “The virtues represent values that we are not born with, but must strive to achieve for ourselves. God gives us the gift of choice, and the ability to differentiate between what is good and what is not.” This rite of passage has been handed down through several generations of the Randolph family. Not only is Lavinia instructed to learn and absorb the values of truth, love, courage, wisdom, creativity, tolerance, and freedom, but to use them in pursuit of a grand adventure to celebrate her passage from childhood to adolescence. Lavinia observes the actions and antics of her eclectic group of family and friends to arrive at her own moral compass. These external forces shape Lavinia’s perspective, but it is the internalization of lessons learned through love, friendship, sorrow and pain that prepares Lavinia for the greatest confrontation of her life. As the year draws to a close, Lavinia’s father, who abandoned her at birth, threatens the sanctity of her home and only Lavinia can prevent the destruction of her family.
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by Michelle Weisen
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by on October 23, 2016
- Michelle Weisen, April 2012
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