Hazel Creek back in 1924 was what small mountain towns should be. Where people respected the land around them, and found value in family, friends, and God. Scattered around the outskirts of a larger town, owned predominantly by the Calhoun Lumber Company. There goal since convincing the railroad line to come through town was to clear cut most of the virgin forest owned forever by the mountain people in the Southern Appalachians. If people didn't want to sell, the company found ways to obtain the land even if no one could prove their ways were less than honorable.
Nathan and Callie Randolph are a few of the last true mountain families that own a considerable amount of pristine forest lands with some amazing older and more valuable trees that Calhoun wants more than anything. But since the this land has belonged to the Randolph family for generations, Nate has no intention on selling. But after many run-ins with men from the lumber company, Nate is finding himself and his family becoming the prime target from the lumber company and they will stop at nothing to ensure they get the land.
I received Hazel Creek by Walt Larimore compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I have to say I love this book from beginning to end. I didn't want to put it down because the story and the characters are so likeable and believeable. There is Abbie, the oldest of the Randolph children that is noticing boys in a whole new light, especially the Sheriff's son, Bobby Ray. She is called upon to help her mother Callie out, who is having a difficult pregnancy and has to rest as much as she can. This puts Abbie in the position to act as almost a mother-figure to her younger sisters.
This story is unique in that it begins as Abbie is in a nursing home and begins to reflect back on her childhood much like Laura Ingalls Wilder did in her books. What comes out of this novel is nothing short of perfection and makes me truly love the writing style of Walt Larimore. It's a sure bet, I'll be researching his books and adding more to this one for my permanent library. If you love books like the Little House on the Prairie books, then I know this one will find a special place in your heart as well. I rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars!
This terrific story about a family in the Smoky Mountains will make you feel like you made new friends to keep for life. You'll fall in love with Nathan, Callie, and their five daughters, especially Abbie, whose courage, faith, and love of family strengthen and inspire those around her. Full of adventure and even some romance, Walt's book paints a picture of wholesome living in the midst of struggles. I give it five stars and can't wait for the sequel!