05 July 2013

Small Town Girl by Ann H. Gabhart, Book review

Publisher: Revell (July 1, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0800721848


In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest.

Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything. Kate's friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?

In her gentle and textured style, Ann Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip the heart and stir the spirit. Fans of Angel Sister will be thrilled to see Kate Merritt all grown up. New readers will find that Ann Gabhart weaves in Small Town Girl a beautiful story that will touch their hearts and win their loyalty.

Here are my thoughts:

If you are already familiar with award winning author Ann H. Gabhart, you realize from the onset she has done it again: SMALL TOWN GIRL brings readers a touch of Americana with its down to earth feelings, sadly almost forgotten in this day and age of electronics and convenience! Her heartfelt penmanship just sets this latest title again in the winning circle and its romantic cover will appeal to the most discerning heart!

I'll begin by telling you SMALL TOWN GIRL follows 'ANGEL SISTER', published in 2011 but I can attest it stands perfectly well on its own.

Rosey Corner is the archetypal Midwest town of the Nineteen fourties. Everyone knows everyone, no one locks their door and life is remarkably uneventful. That is soon to change though as the wireless brings war news from overseas daily and rumours of the United States sending troops are now the talk of the small town. 

Ann's own background (she lives 1 mile away from her birthplace) imbues her description of a small community with Mum and Dad Merritt and their four daughters living a simple life.
Evie, the oldest, is marrying Mike the local minister who also happens to be middle sister Kate heart's desire. Sister Tory and boyfriend Sammy will soon graduate from High School whilst youngest daughter sweet Lorena basks in every one's love.

The perfect wedding Evie hoped for goes almost without an hitch where Mike's best man, handsome Jay Tanner, attracts its share of female attention. Despite her reluctance to open her heart to the drifter, Kate  feels drawn to him.
When one of the colourful local offers Jay a job in town, Kate's family welcomes with various degree the addition  in their midst and she cannot ignore the attraction between them. Surprisingly however, Mike cautions Kate about Jay's feelings and warns her he cannot be trusted.

When news of Pearl Harbor reaches them, their world is left asunder and when a misunderstanding leads Kate to bar the family door to Jay, he leaves town to enlist.

It might have been just another quixotic novel but Ann in true 'hometown' fashion has imbued her novel with countless little details to enable readers to have a feel for the real atmosphere of those difficult times. Imagine a blend of 'Picnic' and 'Best Years Of Our Lives' and you will get the gist of what I mean.

Nothing is left unexplored leaving the readers to experience protagonists, support characters, locale colours and this breathless feeling you must not leave anything to tomorrow for tomorrow might never come...

A heartwarming Christian novel to be enjoyed with a good cuppa by anyone who will appreciate the good feelings emanating from such a sweet plot!

5 Stars!!

About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.

Additional information on her website (HERE).

I received a paperback copy of this title from BAKER REVELL as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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