The summer of 1964 certainly was eventful, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming to the Brooke family and to Hollyhill, Kentucky. David finally gets up the nerve to pop the question to Leigh and wedding plans are in the making.
But the past is coming to call on many in Hollyhill, threatening to destroy the relationships that everyone thought were so strong. Two people–one David thought was gone for good and the other no one’s ever heard of–are making their way to the small town and promise trouble.
This complex and well-written story is the perfect conclusion to the Hollyhill story. With true-to-life family drama, refreshing humor, and lovable characters, Summer of Joy will delight readers.
About the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She’s published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing.
Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800’s, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009.
Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960’s. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl.
This is my Goodreads review.
Public library copy. I read a paperback edition with this cover. This is the third in the Hollyhill series, the first two being Scent of Lilacs and Orchard of Hope, both of which I have read and loved. The books do stand alone, but are wonderful read together in order as a series. I read Summer of Joy immediately after Orchard of Hope, which flows seamlessly from one to the next.
Definitely a 5-star book! Until the ending, but I generously gave it the full 5-star rating. I do love this form of storytelling which Ann H. Gabhart does effortlessly. This story carries the reader along at such a rate, and puts the reader right there in Hollyhill, Kentucky with Jocie, David, Leigh, Wes and baby Stephen Lee. I wish the series would continue on with the various threads of these characters’ lives. Perhaps that is why the ending was difficult (not the very end, but the drama right before the end).
What I love most, beside the characterization which is fabulous, is the thread of faith in Almighty God in the personal walk through everyday trials of life. The presentation of Scripture is so natural and teaches the reader how it may be applied in their own life, without preaching. Yes, David is a preacher, but this book/series does not preach to the reader. Its characters teach their talk by their walk. That is good writing!
This book has some not-so-likable characters and some twists and turns in the plot which the reader may disagree with. But that is the author’s privilege, and makes the book all the more interactive for the reader, making them think. I highly recommend this book and the Hollyhill series. If you’ve never been to Kentucky this is your free ticket! Enjoy. Thanks Ann, for taking me to Hollyhill and introducing me to Jocie’s family!