The Scent of Lilacs, Hollyhill Series #1   -     By: Ann H. Gabhart
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The Scent of Lilacs, Hollyhill Series #1

Baker / 2005 / Paperback

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Product Description

Life-changing events rarely happen here, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once. Jocie has questions that need answers. As she digs into her family's past, she finds a whirlwind of discoveries, and everything begins to change. In the end, will Jocie find the answers everyone so desperately needs, or will her questions lead to truths that were better left uncovered?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Baker
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0800730801
ISBN-13: 9780800730802
Availability: In Stock
Series: Hollyhill

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Publisher's Description

Before Ann H. Gabhart became well-known for her much-loved Shaker novels, she wrote three poignant novels centered on the loveable Jocie Brooke and her family, who lived in 1960s small-town Kentucky. Once named as one of Booklist's Top Ten Christian Novels and now featuring a brand new cover, Scent of Lilacs is poised to capture the hearts of new readers everywhere. Life-changing events rarely happen here, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once. Jocie has questions that need answers. As she digs into her family's past, she finds a whirlwind of discoveries, and everything begins to change. In the end, will Jocie find the answers everyone so desperately needs, or will her questions lead to truths that were better left uncovered?

Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story takes readers through the universal experiences of true love, new life, and renewed faith. With a beautiful new cover, Scent of Lilacs is poised to capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

Author Bio

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Words Spoken True, Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.

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  1. Judy K Burgi
    Kendallville, IN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Life in Hollyhill!
    June 13, 2014
    Judy K Burgi
    Kendallville, IN
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have read several books by author Ann H. Gabhart and have enjoyed them all. Scent of Lilacs is a book you will enjoy once you get into it. The beginning was a little slow for me.

    I fell in love with Hollyhill because it reminds me so much of the small town I grew up in. Everybody knew everyone's name and everyone knew everybody's business!

    Jocie captured my heart from the start . A young innocent girl who struggles to find out who she is. Her father, preacher David, tries so hard to please everyone. He is definitely a person after God's own heart. Just wait until you meet Wes; A strange man? Perhaps in his own way he is but I could not help but grow fond of him too. Loved his stories!

    There are life struggles, hurts, and spiteful mean spirited characters that are vital to this story. Take heart, there is also love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and hope.

    I urge you to pick up a copy of Scent of Lilacs. I think some of you will relate to small town living as much as I did.

    I am looking forward to reading book two, Orchard of Hope.
  2. Kelly B
    Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Heart Warming Story of Facing Joys and Pain
    April 13, 2014
    Kelly B
    Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I began to read "The Scent of Lilacs," I wasn't sure what to expect. I could tell that the book was going to be based in the past and that seemed just perfect for me. Although I only occasionally read historical fiction, a book based in the 50s or 60s is just fine for me. There is a warmth there that I don't necessarily feel with more modern era books without being something that I simply can't relate to. The only downside to me, and really this isn't a downside but a quirk, is I kept reading Holy Hill instead of Hollyhill.

    "The Scent of Lilacs" completely pulls you into the story of Jocie Brook and her family. Although it is partially centered on thirteen-year-old Jocie, this is not a book that feels like YA fiction. There is far more too it than that (nothing wrong with YA fiction, it was simply more adult than that). The reader also explores the feelings and thoughts of Jocie's father David which makes them both the heroine and hero of the story.

    "The Scent of Lilacs" is a Christian story through and through and does not hide from it. There are some works you might read where a prayer is said here and there, "The Scent of Lilacs" does not do that. It is unapologetic about being Christian yet handles some pretty extreme issues, and handles them very well. The thing that is beautiful about the way the author handles the Christian aspect of this book is that it completely folds into the story. It is not thrown in like an after thought. It fits into the story which it would have to considering that David, Jocie's father is also a preacher. I so admire the way it was done, because it really does reflect real life. As a Christian, I am aware that I do have issues and problems I have to overcome, but I seek out the Lord in it all (and fail quite a bit too).

    The characters are so very well done. It was quite easy to visualize each one and build a relationship with them. In fact, the town of Hollyhill and Jocie's family's home and orchard property was seated firmly in my mind within a few chapters. I easily slid back into the story again and again as I went through my own day-to-day activity between reading.

    I loved Jocie's family and also David's employees. There was an easiness and believability with all of them. I loved that there were some strong messages and lessons with truth and forgiveness. I loved the hope that the story brought. I loved feeling like I was on a sweet little summer vacation as I read "The Scent of Lilacs." I also loved that I already have "Orchard of Hope," the second book in the series to look forward to.

    "The Scent of Lilacs" is a book that makes you care. It doesn't beat you over the head with heart wrenching dramatics to get you there. It gets you there by making you care about the characters first. There was not a manipulative point in the story (and I have seen that in others), but I found myself crying with tears of sadness, hurt, and also joy and hope. Truly this is a fine piece of work and I look forward to reading "Orchard of Hope" next and getting my hands on "Summer of Joy" after that.
  3. lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    March 18, 2014
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I don't remember the first time I read and reviewed this novel, but with the opportunity of being able to read the third book in the series I decided to reread the series. Sometimes when first we read a book certain characters, places or scenes stand out to us. Now, here I am, some time away from the first reading of the novel. Having read it again, I have an appreciation for the myriad of ways the author is communicating God's never ending love.

    David is a divorcé with two daughters, though one daughter is living with his ex somewhere along the West Coast. During the wee hours of the morning, David gets up to an empty house because his wife left him along with taking their first daughter. Now, the youngest, Jocie, is raised by her father and her grandmother with an aunt eventually moving in with them.

    Most of what is shown in the novel is the faith in the reality of God, even during our darkest nights or trials. Some of the characters experience personal trials on top of family, church or even employment challenges. Throughout this work of fiction, what seemed to impress me was the devastating affects secrets can have on a family, church or community. Hollyhill is a small town and everyone seems to know things about others, but no one ever speaks of the secrets to see if there is truth in them or not.

    I can see why some of the characters keep secrets from others for reasons of "protecting" them, but as I read more of the story what showed up even brighter was that truth sets people free. While truth can be hard and painful at times, God is always there, loving us and drawing us close to Him. Through these hard or painful times, it seems that is when our faith muscles are exercised. The characters don't always understand the totality of the truth being shared, but simply believe God will see them through.

    It was so worth the time to read this novel again before continuing on to the sequel, Orchard of Hope. Please take time to enjoy the beauty of God's love and redemption as painted using words by the author; it's excellent!
  4. Johnette
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great cover and story!
    May 21, 2013
    Johnette
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have to say, I really liked this cover. I had not read a book by Ann H. Gabhart before. I generally like historical books especially during the Civil War era...but this cover drew me in. It is set in the 60's.

    The story is about a 13 year old girl named Jocie. She lives in a small town and had a spunky personality that I liked. She deals with the heartache of not being wanted or loved by her mother, yet a father that loved her before she was born. (Made me think of my Heavenly Father's love)

    I thought this book might be too young for me, but it wasn't. I appreciated Jocie's faith in the Lord. She believed God would answer even the simplest prayer. I was proud to see how important a true prayer life was to the characters of this book. I know prayer is very important to me and it was a great reminder!

    I felt The Scent of Lilacs was well-written, a surprise to me and not what I expected. Who doesn't like a little mystery and some surprises too? A great story with ups and downs, yet leaves you with hope. A story with heartache and unconditional love. Makes you think of the family and friends that really love you.

    In return for my Honest opionon and review, I received this book through bookfun.org from Revell Publishing.
  5. Karen Lange
    Kentucky
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderful Story!
    May 16, 2013
    Karen Lange
    Kentucky
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    One thing I like about Ann Gabhart's books is that they have personality. It's present not just in the characters, but in the story. Ann has a gift for creating characters that most anyone can relate to, a setting you can see, and a plot that tugs at your heartstrings. Then she wraps it into a neat and touching package.

    Scent of Lilacs is no exception. Jocie's summer contains pleasant surprises and answers to several prayers. Sadly though, she encounters hard lessons as well. But they are inevitable, considering that Jocie's mother ran off some years before with Jocie's older sister Tabitha.

    Originally published in 2005, the Scent of Lilacs was released again this spring. I'm thankful for the chance to read it now, as the combination of surprises and humor provides a heartwarming and inspirational read. Will look forward to checking out the rest of the Hollyhill series soon.
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