Max Brinkmann resents his life, his religion, and most of all, his father—the man who sends his son to a Catholic girls’ boarding school in order to save the youth’s soul. But piety and puberty don’t mix as Max struggles to achieve a sense of identity in Forsaking Mimosa, a novel that exemplifies the redeeming power of home in the most unexpected places.
It’s 1937 in Mimosa, Mississippi, and fourteen-year-old Max is an active kid in the lively railroad town where he is craving the normalcy of going to public school. He dreams of running track and playing baseball at Mimosa High School.
But when Max’s father, Josef (a devout Roman Catholic), announces that the small Catholic school in Mimosa is closing, Max’s world is turned upside down. Not only is Josef moving the family to a farm in the middle of nowhere—to remove Max and his six younger siblings from the “temptations of the city”—the only option for a Catholic education is enrollment at nearby St. Agnes Academy.
An all girls' school.
Max is overwhelmed by classes of young women and more nuns than he’s ever seen, not to mention a new home without electricity and indoor plumbing. Even worse, his hard-hearted, Rosary-a-day father seems intent on making his oldest son as miserable as possible. Max’s friends? Forget them. Hobbies and dreams and goals? Not hardly. Even one speck of something close to fun? Sorry, Max, go chop the wood.
This is a timeless story of a disillusioned boy who grows into a man in a most unlikely environment. Along the way he faces tragedy, falls in love, and makes important discoveries about himself, his faith, and ultimately his perplexing father.