Monday, April 7, 2014

Summer of Joy by Ann H. Gabhart - REVIEWED

About the Book:

As summer draws to a close Jocie's world seems serene--but is it just the calm before a storm?

Unbeknownst to Jocie Brooke and her family, two people are making their way to the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. One everyone thought was gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of. Still, one thing is sure--they promise trouble. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy strong relationships that everyone has simply taken for granted.

The summer of 1964 may be winding down, but the controversy in this little community where nothing ever seems to change is just heating up.

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you to Hollyhill for a story both exciting and enduring that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. 

My Thoughts:
“All I can give you is the truth.”  (p. 299 – DeeDee to Jocie)

In truth, I think Ann Gabhart’s latest book, Summer of Joy, is a journey toward truth.  David Brooke is trying to wrap his mind and heart around the gift of Leigh in his life.  Jocie is busy trying to survive her first year in highschool  while watching her Dad rediscover love and relationship – bringing to her the promise of having a mother in her life.  Tabitha has returned home to Hollyhill, an unwed mother of a bi-racial child, Stephen Lee.  His presence makes everyone a bit more thoughtful  toward one another.

This is already a full and complex set of characters, but Gabhart adds Zella, Wes , Adrienne (aka DeeDee) and wildcard, Edmond Hammond.  These characters add spice and mystery, cause questions and concerns and, in general complete a very involved and mult-layered set of charcters who are each pursuing the answers to their own life journey.  Summer of Joy ultimately contains true joy in many hearts, but the journey to that place is not an easy one.  Hollyhill is a small town that is filled with folks who are all about everyone else’s business.  I think that is one reason everyone halts and stutters along their path, because they are ever aware of everyone else’s thoughts and opinions.

Ultimately, the answers come to each situation, but the price exacts a piece of the heart in almost every instance.  People must grasp truth at any cost, and, when that happens, joy does indeed come onto the scene.  There was an unexpected source of danger that was woven throughout the story, and for me, that was the element that blended all of the angst, heartache, searching and questions so that when the moment of truth came it was realistic and believable.

I enjoyed my time in Hollyhill and look forward to Ann Gabhart's next project!

About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and...
Continue reading about Ann H. Gabhart

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