I would give this book 4.5 stars. I loved several of the characters--Corinne, Julia, Lanier. Although I think six girls was too ambitious--Rosanelle, Aster, and Bird were really underdeveloped by comparison--the others were richly drawn. At one point, I couldn't breathe because I felt Julia's emotion so deeply as King painted her heart on the page. Lanier was a pistol. Stunning ending. Very fine women's fiction. I'll read more of Cassandra King--for sure.