Featuring colorful characters and vivid descriptions, Sugar Fork is sure to delight readers who enjoy historical fiction. I loved revisiting the characters I grew to care about in the first book in the series, "Hazel Creek", especially Abbie as she heroically faces heart-breaking events that threaten to break her. The book reminds me of reading the Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, because it hearkens back to a simpler time and place where people lived close to the land and they struggled to grow with the times while holding on to the important things of the past. My heart broke for the Randolph girls as they faced disappointment and loss, and yet it likewise celebrated with them as they were able to also achieve victories as well. Although I didn't find that this book held my interest as much as Hazel Creek did, I again found that Larimore has written a satisfying read that entertains on many levels, and includes some fascinating historical details. The specter of the "haint", Jeremiah, was a favorite of mine, as I imagined stumbling into such a man while roaming the hills of North Carolina! I loved that he plays an integral part in this story (I won't give away more for fear of giving away too much). The author has effortlessly woven faith into this rich tale, and I turned the last page longing for the simplicity of life captured within the pages.
I strongly recommend this book and award it 4 out of 5 stars.
Book was provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books (Simon and Schuster) for the purposes of this unbiased review.
Colorful descriptions and strong faith evoke the challenges of life in the Smokey Mountains during the year of 1925.
Sixteen-year-old Abbie Randolph and her family struggle to keep their land from an evil and manipulative lumber company that will stop at nothing to claim the Randolph's virgin hardwood.
Walt Larrimore hit all the right notes with this novel of the Smokey Mountains. I loved how well developed and varied the many charcters were. It was a little hard for me to get into the story at first because I had not read the prequel and I think that the prequel would have helped me, so that I would have know more of who was who. It took a little longer, but I got to know the characters and love 'em just the same.
Abbie's life changed so much over the course of the book, and it was a sort of coming-of age tale, because Abbie had to grow up and go through so much. All of the characters were so well developed, and I thought the faith elements were especially well done.
Overall, this was a well wrought read, with each chapter sort of giving us a snaphot of life in the Smokey Mountains, Abbie and her friends dealt with the struggles they faced in smart and witty ways, that at times were humorous :) I don't want to give too much away, but I do want to say that this book was fantastic! I really loved the many characters, and the wonderful descriptions of life in the mountain. This is a book I heartily recommend, though I think it would be smart to check out the first book, first so you won't miss a moment in the Smokey Mountains!
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thanks you!
A few months back I found a beautiful treasure! To a book lover, one of our greatest treasures is to find an amazing book that transports you as you read it to another time and place. It frees you from the cares of this world and takes you away to live another life. That's just what I found when I read the first book Hazel Creek by Walt Larimore. When I wrote this amazing man to tell him what literal joy his first book brought me, he was flattered, and humbled! He then told me that in the fall of this year, the second book would be released to continue to story of the Randolph girls and the wonderful characters you've come to call friends that live around the Smoky Mountains. This is that treasure!
In the second book by Walt Larimore, Sugar Fork picks up right where Hazel Creek left off. The Randolph girls are now being raised by their Pa, Nate, along with their older sister, Abigail or Abbie since their mom died giving birth to Sarah Beth. Abbie is in the process of being courted by Bobby Lee, the Sheriff's son and also living along the 600 acres of virgin forests that the Randolph's own is the gypsy brother and sister, Daniel and Maria, who are helping their Pa manage the busy farm and family.
Abbie is working hard at raising her sisters while her Pa finds that even during the prohibition, sale of moonshine for medicinal purposes is still allowed. So he finds that by working with the local mountain folks, he can earn enough money through transporting it to town of Proctor so he doesn't have to cut down any of his trees on his property to sell to the local lumber company. While Abbie dreams of the day that Bobby Lee will finally propose, things take a turn for the worse when her Pa doesn't return from hunting one day. Two her of family's friends, James and Jonathan Walking Stick, Cherokee Indians, promise Abbie to go looking for him come daylight. Now Abbie worries just what will happen to her, the girls and the farm if something should happen to her father.
The villian's still exist in this town with L.G. Sanders, a foreman hired by Mr. William Calhoun, the towns largest financial contributor and owner of the lumber company. They are still in the planning stages of doing whatever it takes to buy the property from Nate Randolph, but he has no plans on giving up the family farm and forest. Sanders has had it out for Nate since the first book and will make sure he acquires the land in any manner he can, even if it means killing innocent men.
There are new characters introduced in this series, one of which is the new town doctor, Wade Chandler, working as an apprentice of Dr. Andrew Keller, the long time company physician for Calhoun Lumber company. Also the Earnshaws, Candace and Luke come back to the Randolph farm, who are Abbie's aunt and uncle to see how they can help when tragedy strikes, along with the world-famous writer Horace Kephart, who's trying to find a way for the Smoky Mountains to become recognized as a National Park which would preserve the land for future generations and secure the family forests from the likes of the Calhouns!
I received Sugar Fork by Walt Larimore compliments of the author himself along with Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review. Once again, I've been captivated by a different time and place and fallen in love being a part of the Randolph family . In this wonderful sequel to Hazel Creek, the faith of the entire community will be tested and only a miracle may save them from the ultimate fate. For anyone who loves book series like The Little House on the Prairie, then you will LOVE this series of books. The perfect blend of faith in God and learning to deal with the tragedy's that come with living in 1925 are captured perfectly in this wonderful series I can't wait to share with all my readers. Trust me, once you read the first book, you'll be hooked forever!
I easily rate this one a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more in this delightful series! This book is scheduled for release in October of this year, but I know you'll want to make sure that this one goes on your must reads for the fall! Time to fall in love all over again and see how you would weather the storms that are on the horizon for Abbie and her family!