Billie Girl by Vickie Weaver is a powerful debut novel that spans the life of a southern woman born in 1900. Billie Girl is born on Easter Sunday, is abandoned, and winds up being raised by two women she later discovers to be brothers. Summarizing the plot in a sentence or two might give the impression that the novel is sensationalist, but in fact, many remarkable things occur in Billie’s life and they are taken as a matter of course rather than hyped, and experienced through a storytelling voice that is both strong and gentle; gripping and placid. The result is that we vicariously experience some controversial topics like gender identity, euthanasia, and bigamy in a natural, disarming manner. These things are just parts of her life, not exploited or sensationalized, and because of that, they feel genuine and honest. Billie’s tale is evocative not just because of her life events, but because of her strong and impressive character. This novel is thoroughly engaging and original. It’s the kind of book you can’t put down, and Billie Girl is the kind of character you wish you could spend more time with.