Sandra Robbins captures the life of farming in the Smoky Mountains in the 1930's in her writing perfectly. Even though the Depression is raging all around the rest of the country, the everyday life has thrived in Cades Cove. That is until the government decided it wants preserve these mountain ranges for the people of America. Making promises to the people who live there, saying they can keep their farms, that have been in their family for generations...but, the promises have proven to be false. The people of Cades Cove now face the unknown as the government decides that their land is better fitted to suit the needs of the rest of the country as a vacation spot.
Laurel is the third generation born in Cades Cove. It's the only home she has ever known. She is content and happy to live off of the land with her family. Her dad and grandpa have filed court cases against the government to keep their land. The family waits on the verdict and until they know, they live their lives like normal. Ever so slowly, families in the area sell their lands and move off. It hurts Laurel to see so many friends leave their lives behind. Trying to preserve the memories, Laurel snaps picture after picture, trying to preserve the past. Laurel hopes that the suits her grandpa and dad have filed will pull though and she won't have to leave.
Andrew Brady is fresh out of college. He was give his appointment from strings his father, a congressman, pulled for him. When Andrew arrives, he is a bit cocky, very sure of himself, that his task will only take a month, six weeks at the most. He's in for a rude awakening when he sees other wise. Andrew hasn't had a loving family relationship. His father is pushing him to the fast track of politics. The Cades Cove job is just a stepping stone in Andrew's fathers plan. As Andrew spends time in Cades Cove and gets to know Laurel and her family, Andrew's ideas of life start to change. He has long believed he hasn't had much of a choice in what he could do, or who he will become. His assignment opens his eyes to many things.
Beyond These Hills is a sweet story on growing up. Laurel and Andrew each face decisions that will change their future, for the best or the worst. They must each decide who or what they will rely on to help them through it, themselves, parents, or God.
Thank you to Harvest House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion.
It's 1935, and Laurel Jackson fears the life she's always known is about to become a memory. The government is purchasing property to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and nearly all the families in Cades Cove have decided to sell. Laurel is determined to save the land her family has lived on for a hundred years.
Andrew Brady, the son of a wealthy Virginia congressman, arrives in the Cove to convince the remaining landowners to sell. Sparks fly when he meets Laurel, the outspoken young woman who is determined to thwart his every effort. Will they ever be able to put aside their differences and accept what their hearts already know?
In the third and final book in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series, acclaimed author Sandra Robbins brings a dramatic conclusion to the story of the families of Cades Cove.
While a romance between opposite sides of a war, religion or culture is a very common theme, I found Robbins's fresh look at this scenario very refreshing indeed. This novel is a continuation of a series that started with Laurel's grandmother in Angel of the Cove, and Laurel's mother in Mountain Homecoming. There were enough twists and turns in the story to keep it exciting, and I really loved how the family is so closely knit.
I have yet to read the first two books, but I'm sure that would have added to my reading enjoyment. Now I really want to backtrack and find out their stories for myself, as I enjoyed Laurel's story immensely. I am not very familiar with the Smoky Mountains, but I really got into the setting of this novel. I really appreciated how Robbins pulls you into the story by giving us characters we can really admire and look up to, and I look forward to more excellent work from this author.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
n the year 1934, the government starts purchasing property in the Cades Cove to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many of the families have already sold and moved out, but the Martin's and Jackson's are determined to save their land.
In this book we find a group of firm believers learning to trust God with their future. They learn to show love to others, even when it seems hard. Each character holds such rich christian morals that were very edifying to the reader. I enjoyed reading all three books in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series. Each book focused on the next generation of woman in the Martin family, drawing one closer to the family.
The only fault found in this book is the speed in which Laurel and Andrew fell in love. It did not feel genuine. With that said there romance was still sweet and God fearing.
I received this book for free, from First Wild Cards, in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
This is book three of the series Smoky Mountain Dreams. The end of Cades Cove is in sight as the land is being bought up to turn into a national park and there are only a few hold outs the main ones being Laurel's family. The government sends in Andrew Brady to get the last few hold outs to sell. As he gets to know Laurel and her family he not only falls in love with her he struggles to do the job he was sent to do.
Laurel is the granddaughter of Anna from book one and the daughter of Rani from book two. I enjoyed the last book of the series.
What I liked: This series is very intertwined and its important to read all three books in order. Laurel is a likable character and so is Andrew. I also enjoyed how the characters from the first two books were included in this book. These books are very much about a family and I liked that.
What I did not like: My only real problem with this story was how fast Laurel and Andrew fell in love. They really did not get to know each other that well so it seemed unbelievable to me.
Overall this was a good book and it did a great job wrapping up the series.
Beyond These Hills is book 3 in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series and I was eager to find out what happens after reading the first two books in the series. Angel of the Cove is the story of how Laurel's grandparents met and Mountain Homecoming is Laurel's parents' story. Beyond These Hills is now Laurel's story. These three generation stories may be read as stand-alones but you will want to meet the families of Cades Cove, Tennessee.
He glanced once more at the pickup truck that still sat in front of the store and pictured how Laurel had looked standing there. When he'd grasped her hand, he'd had the strange feeling that he'd known her all his life. How could a mountain girl he'd just met have such a strange effect on him?
--Beyond These Hills, 17
Mountain Laurel... I have just arrived in Gatlinburg. How can one meeting change all I stand for ~ Andrew Brady, single, single-minded, here to gain the few properties not surrendered to the Park Service. Just meeting, she remembers my name as she talks to the proprietor. I have helped her taking her mother's pottery crates in from the back of the truck ~ Mountain Laurel Pottery ~ Laurel. We only said our first names...
When I check into the hotel there is a message for me from the new superintendent of the park that I am to meet him in the dining room for the evening meal. He has just returned from visiting the park sites. I will be going out to the CCC camp to stay while I am at Cades Cove. It is the Civilian Conservation Corps. Mr. Eakin suggests I go early to meet the preacher and his son-in-law who have part of the land I am coming to encourage the owners to resign to the park development. As I am walking into church I am queasy about attending. As I back up and turn, I come face to face with... Laurel! She invites me to sit with her family as I am visiting. Laurel introduces me to her grandfather and her father ~ by name, the very people I have come to meet. Laurel's family is part of the twenty-four remaining families I am to talk to about selling their land! They misunderstand about my going to the CCC camp. I am going to be staying there but not working with the men on work crews. (The sermon you ask? It is about Judas and the thirty pieces of silver.) Laurel's grandparents invite me home with them to dinner and I tell them they may not want me to come if they knew why I was at church today. I tell them and they invite me anyway, saying we can talk today after the meal, both he and Laurel's father together, instead of waiting until tomorrow. I am to follow Laurel's father to Reverend Martin's home. Mr. Jackson tells me we are getting acquainted today, not talking business until the work week. I am relieved, but uncertain how Laurel and I can become friends. She hasn't taken too kindly to the revelation of my appointment in the Cove. After dinner I explain to her I couldn't have come and misled her family. That there wasn't time to tell her while being introduced to everyone. She leaves me standing on the porch.
I am invited for a trail walk at Gregory's Bald. Come along as I venture among these hills.
***Special thanks to author Sandra Robbins and to Ginger Chen at Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***