Towards the end of the book, Curley’s Papaw says, “Never take any word for granted… they all have the power to shape our world.”
Throughout the book, we’ve watched Curley learn word after word – eradicate, fallible, gullible, persist, untenable, venerable – as his world is changed. It’s not just that he might be losing his way of life and the mountain he’s loved. He’s already lost his parents and little brother to accidents connected with the coal mining in the mountains. He might also be losing his beloved friend Jules to the new guy in town,as well as Old Charley, the tree they’ve climbed and watched the world from. To Curley, it sometimes seems like everything is changing, all at once, and at a speed he just can’t keep up with.
Curley’s connection to nature and love for his home carries the story, and the other characters ring true, too – his Papaw’s relationship with an old friend, the new kid in town, the people in the community with mixed feelings about the power of the coal company. The story doesn’t tie everything up in neat little bows, although there are some convenient revelations here and there, but that’s kind of like life, isn’t it?
Saving Wonder by Mary Knight