The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
It is the summer of 1899, and 11-year old Calpurnia Virginia Tate discovers that her forbidding grandfather is actually an engaging person who will help open her eyes to the wonder of nature around her. Calpurnia (better known as Callie Vee) is not your typical young lady—the traditional tasks of knitting and cooking leave her cold—so she revels in the chance to explore the habits of wildlife and the characteristics of plant life. When she and her grandfather find what might be a new species of plant, the excitement is palpable. However, Callie Vee’s mother is not pleased at these new interests of her daughter’s, and we watch Callie Vee try to find her way between conflicting forces. Exciting new inventions find their way to Caldwell County, Texas, during this year, including a telephone exchange and a motor car, and present throughout Callie Vee’s narration is the anticipation over what the coming turn of the century might hold.
Callie Vee is part of a large family, though the only girl, and readers will enjoy her interactions with her six brothers, root for her time with her grandfather, and probably wish her mother would leave her alone. Callie Vee is inquisitive, charming, and a delight to spend time with. I recommend her to you highly.