27 March 2014

Summer Of Joy by Ann H. Gabhart, Book review

Summer of Joy
Hollyhill Series, Book 3
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 15, 2008)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800731700
  • Also available in Hardback and KINDLE formats


For Jocie Brooke, the summer of 1964 certainly was eventful, but it's nothing compared to what's coming to Hollyhill, Kentucky, and the Brooke family next. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy the relationships that everyone thought were so strong. Two people--one thought to be gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of--are making their way to the small town. And it promises trouble for everyone.

This complex and beautifully written story is the perfect conclusion to The Heart of Hollyhill series. With true-to-life family drama, refreshing humor, and characters readers have come to love like dear friends, Summer of Joy will delight Gabhart's fans.

My thoughts:

Scent Of Lilacs, Book 1 in The Heart of Hollyhill Series (see review HERE) was a nostalgic reminder of the best of the Sixties, with a little of the Mayberry atmosphere, each character ready to tug at your heart with their wholesomeness just like Opie, Aunt Bee and Sheriff Andy.

Following Orchard of Hope, (Book 2 in the Series now sitting on my night table ready to be enjoyed and reviewed in the near future) Summer of Joy was as I envisioned and the perfect tie for the end of the Series or is it? Ann, shall we look for Jocie in College or married perhaps in the future?

The Holiday Season is everything the Brooke family hoped for. Life is good for all in Hollyhill, KY and Pastor David and Leigh have finalized their plans for the future: Weddings bells will soon be ringing in their little town and Jocie will now have a complete family together with sister Tabitha, baby Stephen Lee and Scriptures spouting Aunt Love!

But first Jocie will have to weather a few hiccups in English class. Her teacher Mr. Creep, uh, Mr. Hammond, has it in for her it seems and Jocie is praying really hard the school year will soon be over. 

Jupiterian Wes remains Jocie's best friend and confidante but when someone from the past comes to claim his love, Jocie fears she might loose her adoptive motorcycle riding Grand'Pa.
Meanwhile DeeDee, Jocie's long estranged Mum, faces the ultimate challenge and must come to terms with the past.

Book 3 may be read as a stand alone thanks to Ann's expertise in reminding us here and there of her characters past exploits. 
Her warm heart stories reminds us of simpler times when families were eating and praying together, when a young girl kept journals and small town life was far remote from hot and cold wars and the teetering of an all nuclear conflict.

Family values and a solid faith remains Ann's strong points in these endearing stories, guaranteed to leave you with a good feeling and perhaps for some of us longing memories.
At times buoyant, others wistful, her plot line remains consistent with those beliefs and when all is revealed in the end, grants us the sweet entertainment we have learned to expect from Ann H. Gabhart.

4 stars!

Meet the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. She's published over twenty-five books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Books in Christian Fiction by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine.
Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann loves hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dog, Oscar.

For more on Oscar read (HERE) and for Ann's website see (HERE) and her blog (HERE)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP as part of the book's promotion. 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. 


  1. Replies
    1. Any books by Ann H. Gabhart is sure to provide good clean entertainment!

  2. Sounds delightful and rather remote from today!

    1. Unfortunately my recollection of those days are quite different Jenny. No jeans (Ursuline's uniform for young ladies complete with gloves - so glad I did not have to wear the hat my cousins did! ), and living in one of the larger metropolis of our world means no idea of such surroundings but I love to read Ann's books for its message of family's togetherness!

  3. This sounds like a good one, Noelle. I was born and raised in the 60's, so I can really relate. And who doesn't love characters like Opie, Aunt Bee, and Andy? Oscar look so cute, doesn't he?

    Have a very relaxing weekend. Your love of books is so special. I am wondering if you have library in your home?


    1. I lost my heart to Oscar as soon as I spotted him on Ann's blog (Mac knows I love him the most!). I choose to review books for myself as much as for others Sheri (a bit like buying a gift I would love to receive myself).
      Library? Ex-RAF hubby chuckled at that one...but close, wall to wall shelves! We have packed and unpacked so many times in 39 years of marriage, we are pro at making sure our books always takes first place in the suitcases along with toothbrushes. Everything else can be replaced!

  4. Hi, Noelle. What fun to see Oscar's picture at the end of your review! Maybe I'll send his photo instead of my author's photo from now one. His picture is sure to get more smiles. Thanks for the review.

    1. Ann, Granny used to say that what makes us the happiest or what we need the most usually glared at us but we did not see it...
      Oscar is a very special boy and I appreciate the opportunity to read wholesome novels such as yours!
      Thank you and blessings to you and yours (a big hug to Oscar!)


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