Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson.
Harcourt, Inc: NY, 2001.

The Crutchfields versus the Malones. That's how it's been for generations. Now Kaitlin Malone's father is in jail for killing a Crutchfield, and the Malone farm is faltering. Kaitlin and her sister are forced to go to the high school where the Crutchfields rule. The only spot of sunshine in her day is her lunch period when she escapes to a secluded courtyard to write in her journal. She shares this getaway with a boy who sketches. Through snatches they get to know each other. Too late (after she has a crush) she learns that the boy is Bram Crutchfield, the son of the man her father is accused of murdering, the only witnesses being Crutchfields and their employees. She gives him a false name and embarks on a relationship based on lies. Inside the Crutchfield camp, she learns there are two sides to the feud and that the opposing characters are not so different from her family. Well, in fact they are family, distant cousins.

The story is a not-so-new take on the old Hatfield and McCoy theme, but Pearson has written a touching story. As a diarist, Kaitlin is given ancestral Crutchfield journals that may have evidence that will help heal the rift between the two families. Except that there is a scheme under way. The future rests on the decisions of Bram, who is likely to carry on the Crutchfield destiny. Kaitlin's dilemma is wrenching. They both have made glaring mistakes, and all they have to pull them through is the bond they had before the whole thing blew up.

related-vendetta, feuds, honesty, role of family in identity, love

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