Saturday, April 18, 2015

Miracle in a Dry Season (Appalachian Blessings #1) by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Title: Miracle in a Dry Season (Appalachian Blessings #1)
Author: Sarah Loudin Thomas
Pages: 300
Year: 2014
Publisher: Bethany House
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     In a drought, it’s the darkest cloud that brings hope.

     It's 1954 and Perla Long’s arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

     Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor . . . until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

My review:

     This is a wonderful look at small town life in 1954.

     This is Sarah Loudin Thomas's debut novel. I found it to be a fantastic piece of writing. She did a marvelous job of creating a variety of characters that were easy to understand. Some of them just plain frustrated me, but then again to be honest I get frustrated with people at times in real life. The interaction between the characters was very realistic. The two main characters, Perla Long and Casewell Phillips were easy for me to connect with though. They had a number of very heavy obstacles to negotiate just to get through everyday life.

     The story explores some deep issues about judgment and forgiveness, so in that sense it is not a light read. But it is done in a small town setting and that helps to make it feel lighter.

     I especially enjoyed the way that the characters grew and developed in their own lives and in how they related to each other. I loved the paths that many of them took as they were learning about the importance of forgiveness to personal lives as well as to the well-being of an entire community.

     I absolutely loved this book. I am really looking forward to seeing what else this wonderful writer comes up with. I highly recommend this novel and am giving it 5 stars.

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