My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: I requested a review copy from Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Description: Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel's imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel's father's drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?
My thoughts: A culture shock awaits Jonathan Taylor as he enters the rustic small town set in the Appalachian Mountains. He has come seeking redemption from an overbearing father, not being "fit" to serve in WWI and the squashed dreams of becoming a Doctor. He needs to feel as if he is making a difference, somewhere.
Life turns out to be different than he expected. Instead of finding a society of "backward" people, he realizes that joy doesn't come from possessions, but how you live your life. The best example comes from a young woman he meets right away, Laurel McAdams. She has a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face even though her father disappoints her and her family lives in a small cabin.
The lessons of joy, love, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding are priceless. I love the message that happiness doesn't come from circumstances but from joy and love and belief in God. Joy can be found in a shack.
I loved the description of the town, the beliefs of the townspeople, and a simpler way of life. This book is Christian fiction. It is clean with kissing.
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About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley.
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