It’s 1943, and everyone says the war will be over soon—World War II, that is—but Teresa Marks wonders exactly when that day will come. Her older brother, Jeff, is fighting overseas, and Teresa worries about him, hoping he’ll get home to Kansas safely. As a way of speeding Jeff’s return, Teresa and her dad help the war effort by planting a victory garden. For two years, they’ve planted tomatoes (Jeff’s favorite!) and won taste-testing duels with a curmudgeonly neighbor. But this spring, when the neighbor is hospitalized, Teresa rallies her friends to tend to his garden. She even considers using her secret for growing better tomatoes on her rival’s plants. But her faith in secret weapons, in victory gardens, in people, and in life itself is shattered as the war rages on abroad and death strikes close to home.
Lee grew up in Kansas, graduated from Wichita State and moved to California. She is retired from teaching elementary school and community college. This is her first novel.