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Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

As she lies dying in 1918, Georgina Caroline Lott tells the story of four generations of Lotts to her portrait painter. The artist has been hired to paint Georgina's death portrait, as was the tradition for her grandparents before her. Georgina narrates how her grandparents' farmhouse with its attached borning room was built when they settled in Ohio in 1820. She describes personal, important events that took place in the borning room—her birth in 1851, the birth of two brothers, the deaths of her mother and grandfather, her younger brothers' bout with diphtheria, the birth of her daughter, and her own imminent death. She also relates fond memories of events that took place elsewhere—listening to her mother read and tell stories, playing music with her sisters and brothers, worshipping with her grandfather, hiding a runaway slave, helping with the birth of Zeb, and marrying the local schoolteacher. This book, though only seven short chapters, is able to portray the natural life cycle of the farm and the family in a memorable, moving manner.