At seventeen, Lluava’s world gets flipped upside down when she is drafted to go to war. She is the proverbial small town girl and has very little knowledge of what the kingdom is like outside of Rivendale.
I can sympathize. I grew up in rural Georgia roaming cow fields, checking on the chickens, pretending to get lost in the fields of cotton. From the hot and humid summers to the extremely mild winters, I swam in lakes and always tried to get the best bird’s eye view from the tree tops. I loved climbing over ravines on fallen logs, the smell of freshly cut grass, eating blackberries off the brambles and catching snakes with my bare hands to my mother’s detriment. This was my world, and I was its ruler.
As I grew up, I was able to finally appreciate the uniqueness of my small town. In addition to its historical heritage and beauty, there is a rather respectable cultural community. Whether symphony, chamber music and other concerts, numerous art openings, or the plethora of events and fundraisers for a multitude of nonprofits, my town was far from typical.
Yet for my childhood, there will always be this closeness with the natural world, the fascination for every sort of animal, the appreciation of a simplified lifestyle that I sometimes yearn to have again. Having moved to a large city and filling my days with as many activities as my overly burdened planner can handle has removed me a bit from that life I knew years ago. At least for the moment…
I will always be a small town girl in my heart.
(Note: image from the wonderful article about my home town. http://www.southernliving.com/travel/south-east/madison-georgia )