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Title: Black Coal And White Lies
Author: Geri Monaghan
For Anna, the youngest of five daughters, life is chaotic, strange, and a little bit wonderful-even though she doesn’t realize it. Growing up in a small coalmining town in the 1950s is not an easy way to live, but with the support of her sisters, her friends, and her family, she’s making the best of it. She’s a young, shy, pretty high school sophomore with her whole life ahead of her. But now that the last of her older sisters has moved out, Anna’s loneliness is growing. When she meets Ben, everything seems to be looking up. But in order to date him, Anna must lie to her parents about many things, including his age. Ben is six years older than Anna, and he also lives with his parents. Even though she is strictly forbidden from dating older men, Anna’s heart can’t be swayed from falling in love. Anna finds that with each little white lie she must tell her parents, the easier that deception becomes. In her senior year, Anna is offered a job with the CIA in Washington, DC. She makes plans to move after one final summer with Ben, but he then surprises her with an engagement ring-and a proposal of a different sort. If she were pregnant, he reasons, no one would be able to stop them from being together. She loves Ben and wants to believe that he has her best interests at heart-but at what price is her happiness to be purchased?