I had no idea what to expect when I read this book. Most reviews are raving over what a wonderful debut novel this is and they are so very right. The story is set in a small town in West Virginia in 1954. Oh, there is nothing like a small town Southern setting. Its my favorite.
The cast of characters include 35 year old bachelor, Casewell Phillips and his parents, a young single mother, Perla Long and her adorable 5 year old daughter, Sadie, who are new to town and are staying with Perlas aunt and uncle, Robert and Delilah Thornton. Of course, small towns are never lacking for gossip and the mystery of where and who is little Sadie Longs father and what brings the child and her mother to Wise, West VA. The story reveals the pain and anguish caused by gossip. It also taps into how judgmental and unforgiving people can be. Happily, the story demonstrates the importance of grace and forgiveness.
I believe if you love a beautifully told story set in the south, you will enjoy this book. I am giving the book 5 stars and a high recommendation because the setting, story, and characters, are just impossible not to love. Im really looking forward to future books by this author.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
I am so glad I read this book! It was absolutely fantastic! We first met Perla in Sarah's novella Appalachian Serenade. (If you haven't read it yet, don't worry! You don't need to, but I highly recommend it! It's fantastic!) The plot of the story was unique to me. I haven't read many books set in the 1950's era. It was well written and kept my interest page after page.
The characters were fantastic! It was nice to catch up with Delilah and Robert, who play a prominent role in this story. Perla Long is a unique heroine because of her past and her special gift with food. Perla becomes the "miracle" in Wise's "dry season," much to her dismay. Then she meets Casewell Phillips. I loved him as a male hero because the author gave him pride and humility, braun and brain, and most importantly, a sense of right and wrong. Watching their feelings blossom amidst the division of the town was sweet. The secondary characters (Casewell's father, the twins, and Frank) provided the perfect mix of humor and seriousness to the story.
The message read much like a story from the Bible. In every season, there is a time to learn. The town of Wise had to learn that judgement comes from the Lord, it's not for us to dish out. Yet, when someone comes among you that is unique, it's easy to judge. Perla had to learn to forgive those who hurt her, let go of her anger at her past, and most importantly, forgive herself. Casewell, even with his great qualities, had to face his flaws and overcome them in order to get what God wanted him to have.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to more from this upcoming author!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Bethany House Blogger program in exchange for my honest review.*
If this is Sarah's first book, you couldn't prove it by me. Rich is the description I'd give this story - rich in depth of characters and description of the town they live in, rich in God's lessons. If you grew up in a small town, you'll recognize Wise, Virginia of the mid 1950's in this story.
Perla is a woman with a past, with evidence to show for it in her little daughter - and no husband. Forced out of her parents home and her hometown, she comes to live with her Aunt and Uncle, where no one really knows them. But it doesn't take long for this town to form opinions about her too. Including Casewell, a most upstanding citizen and confirmed bachelor.
But Casewell is more and more drawn to this special woman who helps the whole town despite how she's treated. Eventually he takes her side no matter what they think. Perla doesn't feel she deserves it. You can't help but become endeared to these two. Through a drought and the death of Casewell's father, they work things through. In time they and the town 'resurrect their own spirits in the assurance of a forgiveness that brings life everlasting. Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning'!
I received a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.
"Miracle in a Dry Season" by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a Christian novel told through the eyes of Casewell, a 35 year old bachelor living in West Virginia in 1954. A new woman with a 5 year old in tow comes to Wise, WV and catches the eye of the town's leading bachelor. Soon after Perla arrives in Wise, a drought strikes the area and leads the local preacher to blame Perla for the drought. Seems to think it is punishment for having a child out of wedlock. Then the witch hunt is on.
This book was a hard book to get into. I never really came to care much about the characters. The witch hunt seems a little ridiculous for 1954; more for a 1354 era really. The book is well written. Characters seem well developed. The writer just could not bring me into the story. The cancer storyline was deeper and more realistic. I give it three stars.