Cold Sassy Tree takes place in Cold Sassy, Georgia in 1906. This book is written in first person and told by the protagonist. The mood that is set for the book is very light hearted but in some parts, serious.
The protagonist of this book is a fourteen year old boy named Will Tweedy. Will is a very adventurous boy who like most fourteen year olds, always gets into trouble. The antagonist of the story is Miss Love Simpson. Love Simpson is a woman from Maryland who has recently moved to Cold Sassy. Every man in the town is interested in Miss Simpson but she marries E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the town's general store and barely a three week widower, a man twice her age.
There are several secondary characters of importance to the story. E. Rucker Blakeslee is Will Tweedy's 59 year old grandpa. He marries a woman half his age and makes a small ordinary town come to life.
Mary Willis and her husband are Will Tweedy's parents. Mary Willis is very hesitant about accepting Love into the family but her husband sees nothing wrong with Love and thinks that it is great that Rucker has found "love" again. Loma, Mary Willis's sister, and Campbell Williams, Lomas husband, have the same feelings as Mary Willis and her husband about the situation. Another secondary character would be the girl who goes to the school with Will Tweedy, Lightfoot McLendon. The only thing wrong with Lightfoot is that she is a mill girl and no boy or girl that lived in the town was to even talk to mill children. Loomis and Queenie are the last secondary characters. Queenie and Loomis are the servants of the family. Not only are they the servant but they are good friends of the family also.
The major conflict of this story is man vs. self which internal. Will Tweedy did not know whether to express his feelings towards Miss Love or to stay within the family. The minor conflicts of this story are man vs. man because the family did not know whether to like Love or not. Some of the family members wanted to accept Love, but some felt that the thing that Rucker did was wrong.
The turning point of the story was when Will Tweedy sees a man from Texas kiss Love Simpson. This was the turning point of the story because the family finally knew that Love was in the family to stay and she was not going anywhere. The Blakeslee family then found out that Rucker had feelings for Love and that he would never change his mind.
The climax of the story is when Campbell Williams dies and Love starts to work at the store that the family owns. This is when the family finally decides that Love is a good person, and she is in the family and nothing is going to change that. They do not mind because they have started to like her.
The theme of this story is "When your growing up, you will have problems among your family but the love is so great that you will get through them together." The main lesson of the story is do not judge someone if you do not know them, and even if someone seems to be a mean person, you should still give them a chance. They may not be as bad as you think they are.