Sunday, January 13, 2019

MY HEART BELONGS IN THE BLUE RIDGE by Pepper Basham, Reviewed by Kim and Susan

Kim's Review:
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham is such a sweet story and the hero and heroine are both so kind you can’t help but fall immediately in love with them! Pepper does such an awesome job with the setting and time period. You learn of the struggles and how hard life could be back in the early 1900s in Appalachia. 

Laurel has got to be one of my favorite female characters ever. She is smart, kind, helpful, giving, and well, just a great person. When Jonathan arrives to teach, he is way out of his element. Without Laurel’s help, I’m not sure he would’ve survived! Together, they try to make some much needed changes, while fighting against those who don’t want to see any changes, even if they are good ones. There are so many unexpected twist and turns, It’ll keep you on your toes! 

Laurel’s father was a very interesting character. At times I thought he was wonderful and at other time’s - not so much. But, you couldn’t help but feel for him and the struggles he was facing. In dealing with this, Laurel’s mom was so understanding and when she explained why she did what she did for her husband, well, it really made me think about how we should treat someone who is struggling. I know that might not make a ton of sense but ~those pesky spoilers! 

I really enjoyed this story. The setting is not one I’ve read a lot about and it was very interesting and felt so authentic. I’m hoping for more stories from this family - namely Laurel’s father and her sister Kizzie. 5 stars! 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, but was under no obligation to review it or provide a favorable review.

Susan's Review:

'I can't hardly get one dream to come true. It'd seem greedy to hope for two.'

This book just filled my heart all the way up till the goodness overflowed. Pepper Basham has just outdone herself here.

Jonathan Taylor has come from England to teach in a one room school in 1918 Appalachia. Boy, is he unprepared for what he finds. He longs to be of some use to these children, but long held family belief systems and superstition nearly break his heart. He can't go back home because his stern father doesn't think he can make a go of it there or anywhere.

Laurel McAdams has taken it on herself to help the new teacher. Laurel has long dreamed of going to college to become a teacher herself. Her dreams might come true, but then maybe not. Surely God wouldn't take her dream away, would He? She wants it so badly.

Everything about this book touched my heart. The wonderful patterns of speech of these people was dear to my heart because I've heard my grandparents speak this way and sometimes my mother did also. Their hearts and their acceptance of the hardships of mountain living was amazing. I felt like I just fell into the book and knew everyone. Laurel and Jonathan were two characters that I will remember for a very long time. This is definitely a book that is destined to be read again! Basham's prose is woven with love throughout each page and I adored it.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via
Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

Buy My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge at Amazon
Buy My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge at


  1. I love the fact that Pepper Basham and Laura Frantz are doing a fun promotion together. Those two book covers are just so incredible, and we know what to expect from what's inside. Thanks for doing the reviews, ladies!

  2. Replies
    1. Don't they do a nice job! All the gals do a great job. Thanks for stopping in Andrea!


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