Lara's Story

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
299 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2018
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Author Biography

Diane Merrill Wigginton was born in Riverside, California in 1963. Her family moved to San Diego near the end of 1970, where she grew up in the newly developed community of Mira Mesa. Spending portions of her summers each year in Burly, Idaho with her mother's parents, Florence and Orval Merrill, Diane developed a love of animals and a respect for the land. It was during this time on the farm riding horses, herding cattle and taming wild kittens, that Diane developed a love of storytelling. She dreamed that one day she would become a published author and share her stories with the world. Having spent her entire life in California, Diane and her husband made the bold move from Sacramento, California to Kalispell, Montana to retire in February 2018. Now she’s able to pursue her passion for writing books full-time. “I am thrilled and elated to be doing what I love.”
I am the mother of three, a daughter and two sons as well as step-mother to three wonderful boys. I enjoy my role as grandmother and currently have eight beautiful grandkids.
Life is very good in Montana. The pace is much slower and things seem simpler these days. I play with the grandkids, talk with my kids and hang out with my husband, our dog, and our new friends, and of course I write. What could be better than that?

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Lara’s Story is a work of young adult historical fiction and drama, written by author Diane Merrill Wigginton. In a story set initially in the beautiful landscape of Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century, we first met our heroine Lara Flannigan when she is a young child surrounded by a loving family. But when tragedy strikes and Lara finds herself alone, a childless American couple rescues the girl and takes her back to the big city of Philadelphia. Here, Lara must forget her brash roots and try to grow and fit in with the high society of America’s finest, posing as the couple’s new daughter. But it’s hard to let go of the past when it won’t let go of her.

This was a gripping and emotional journey from start to finish, and Diane Merrill Wigginton really knows how to tap into her audience’s hearts. Lara’s Story is a superb novel of class divides, fitting in and self discovery from any angle at all, but what really adds the cherry on top is the vivid and engaging period of history in which it is set. Philadelphia in 1840 is a fabulous world of high society and appearances being put first, very far from the life Lara and most ordinary people of the time would know. Lara’s sense of being an outcast and keeping secrets is highly empathetic and makes her a great heroine to follow as she tries to navigate her own identity within this strange and beautiful new world. Overall, Lara’s Story is a highly recommended read.