Sunday 29 December 2013

Book Review: Orchard of Hope

Cover Art
ISBN# 978 0 8007 3169 4

From the Back :

The smoldering embers of unrest are stirring--and even Jocie's sweet spirit can't put them out.
It's already been an eventful summer for Jocie Brooke. Little does she know, things have only just begun to heat up. Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill and it seems as if everyone is waiting--for rain, for a fresh start, for the next step toward the future.

Into this tense haze of anticipation comes a new family, aiming to make a better life for themselves by planting an orchard on the outskirts of town. Fresh off the freedom train, Alex and Myra Hearndon are sensitive to what the color of their skin may mean in the segregated South. And even though Jocie quickly befriends the family, suspicion from both sides of the racial divide proves a formidable obstacle. Can Jocie help bridge the gap? Or will life in her quiet community fall apart at the seams?

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Hollyhill for a gripping tale of unexpected friendship, forgiveness, and the bright promise of a new beginning.

My Reflections:

I so enjoyed Gabhart's first book Scent of Lilacs, so revisiting characters in her new book Orchard of Hope along with a few new arrivals, felt to me like visiting long lost friends. This book is set in the tense times of the early 60's, when racism was rampant and many lives were in transition.

This is the second book in the Heart of Hollyhill series, and although it is a sequel it is written with enough detail and depth that it could be read as a standalone.

Jocie, the preacher's daughter is a character who is bold, tender and courageous. She knows what is right and is not afraid to stand up for it. It was so amazing to watch her character grow and learn in turn transforming from a girl to young adulthood. As with most people, this transition is rough, filled with heartache and trials.

David, Jocie's father is the unconventional pastor of his church. He is tentatively testing the deep waters of giving his love to another. Wes, the Jupitarian, and her sister Tabitha who awaits her baby out of wedlock, Myra Hearndon who has much to teach about love, acceptance and forgiveness. The cast is full the issues deep and meaningful.

This book is a savory read, I have to admit I found the first half of the novel a tad bit hard to get through, but that could have been that I was in full swing Christmas mode, so don't let that sway you. The last half of the book was very compelling, and let me warn you there may be a need for tissue.

I eagerly await the last book in this series "Summer of Joy".

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

 About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--and...
Continue reading about Ann H. Gabhart

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