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July 18, 2014

Appalachian Serenade

A review by Spencer

by Sarah Loudin Thomas

 It tasted like childhood. Like the days when she still imagined anything was possible—a happy marriage, children, a long life filled with love and laughter. ~Appalachian Serenade 

WWII has ended, and Delilah Morrissey, a childless widow, has a difficult time living on her own in Chicago. Her job has been phased out due to the flood of returning soldiers, so an offer from her sister Charlotte, inviting her to come back home to Wise, West Virginia to stay with her and her family, provides a huge sense of relief.  Once there, she realizes her sister’s small home is cramped and her presence is causing problems with Charlotte’s husband. She longs for a job so she can make it on her own.

Delilah’s innate ability to sense the townsfolk’s wants and needs lands her an unexpected, exciting opportunity to work at Thorntons’ store. She frequented the store when she was a youngster, particularly fond of their caramel cream candies. When Robert, the storeowner, offers her a few pieces of her beloved treat, a seed of belonging is planted, and a wonderful friendship blooms.

Appalachian Serenade is a prequel novella of the Appalachian Blessings series, by Sarah Loudin Thomas. This is Ms. Thomas’ first publication, and I’m eagerly awaiting her first Novel, Miracle in a Dry Season.

I’m excited about this series. At first glance, Appalachian Serenade’s cover art is gorgeous and telling, (although I wonder why one of the woman's arms is white and the other appears to be black. Heh.) The cover shows a woman in a country-style dress, carrying a suitcase. Perfect! Because it demonstrates what the story is about, a young widow escaping her dreadful past and returning home to a new life in her rural town.

For a light novella, the story is heavy in depth and brimming with interesting, memorable characters. I love the awkwardness of Robert, the uncertainty of Delilah, the impetuous behavior of Suzanne (Delilah’s new friend) and the diverse, charming, and fickle townsfolk. I enjoyed the original twists and story progression. The author’s fluid writing style is easy to read and difficult to put down. I can’t wait to sink into more Appalachian Blessings tales.

Book Rating:

On the same page?

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Page count: 115
Purchase link: Amazon

Next in the series, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014.

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