Tuesday, May 7, 2024

THE SONG OF SOURWOOD MOUNTAIN by Ann H. Gabhart, Reviewed by Rebecca and Paula #ReleaseDay


(Southern Historical Romance Set in the 1910 Appalachian Mountains)

"Anita claims she heard the young visiting preacher proposing marriage. To you."

Anita had heard right. Mira Dean's childhood acquaintance, Gordon Covington, had grown up into a fine man; he was pastoring a mission church deep within Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains, and apparently doing a satisfactory job of growing his small Sourwood congregation. (Sourwood? It wasn't even on the map  . . . yes, she had been curious enough to look) Approaching Mira following the service that morning, Gordon had spouted off some nonsensical idea about being persuaded that God had directed her into his path, to not only fill the need for a school teacher, but to also become his wife. Mira was no blushing bride candidate; tragically her one and only dream for marital bliss was dead and buried, literally. Mira was completely satisfied with her life exactly the way it was, she was not going anywhere with Gordon Covington.

As so often happens, God opens and closes doors rather quickly at times; leaving Mira no other choice but to take a huge leap of faith, infused with a hefty dose of courage, and to board a train heading towards Gordon's beloved Sourwood Mountain folk . . . in order to marry a man she barely knows while living in a place that she has never seen, or up until this point even heard of. Longing for happiness in spite of her circumstances, Mira holds onto a tiny sliver of hope that she would discover love.

A charming story!! This author pens the sights and sounds of mountain life in such a way that her characters cannot help but spring to life along the trails they call home. It's a beautiful place, but not always pretty . . . it's a bountiful place, but not everyone has food to eat . . . it's a tight-knit community, but there are those who desperately crave family . . . and it's a place where secrets have deep roots and tight lips.

"The Lord moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform. . . " - words from an old hymn

*I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

In this unusual marriage of convenience story, Mira is also encountering a lifestyle that she knows nothing about. But when God blocks her way of life in the city, she follows the lead He provides. “You don’t have a problem, my dear. You have an opportunity.” She marries Preacher Gordon and travels to a backwoods community to become a teacher to children in Sourwood, Kentucky.

Ms. Gabhart is an extraordinary storyteller. She is an artist with words and paints a realistic picture of existence in the hollers of Appalachia in 1910. The little expressions and mountain traditions bring the story to life, the characters are likable, authentic and drew me into the story.

The portrayal of Mira as she dealt with the unknown and as she connected with the mountain folk was well written. You can tell the author has dogs by the way she depicts their behavior. A favorite character was Ada June, a lonely orphan girl who is passed from family to family because she can help with children and chores. After her mother dies, she chooses to speak to a select few. But the tender heart of Mira shows Ada June love and pulls her out of her shell.

This was a memorable story that touched on many emotions and was a very satisfying read.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was nit required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.*5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
While the century began with such promise, it is 1910 when Mira Dean's hopes of being a wife and mother are dashed to pieces. Her fiancé dead from tuberculosis, Mira resigns herself to being a spinster schoolteacher--until Gordon Covington shows up.

No longer the boy she knew from school, Gordon is now a preacher who is full of surprises. First, he asks Mira to come to Sourwood in eastern Kentucky to teach at his mission school. Second, he asks her to marry him. Just like that. And all at once the doors that had seemed firmly shut begin to open, just a crack.

With much trepidation, Mira steps out in faith into a life she never imagined, in a place filled with its own special challenges, to serve a people who will end up becoming the family she always dreamed of.

From the pen of bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart comes a heartwarming story of the unexpected blessings that can come when we dare to follow the Lord's leading.

Revell Publishing, May, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:


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