Orchard of Hope by Ann H. Gabhart {book review}

Orchard of Hope by Ann H. Gabhart {book review}

Orchard of Hope is the second in The Heart of Hollyhill series by Ann H. Gabhart, between  Scent of Lilacs and Summer of Joy.

Orchard of HopeSummary:

Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964. Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath–waiting.

Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.

Into this cloud of tense anticipation, the Hearndons move their family from Chicago to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their orchard of hope.

In this close-knit community, everything is about to change. Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life’s trials.

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.

My Goodreads Review:

Orchard of Hope: A NovelOrchard of Hope: A Novel by Ann H. Gabhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Public library copy. I read a paperback edition with this cover. This is the second in the Hollyhill series. I read the first, Scent of Lilacs, last year. I plan to read the third, Summer of Joy, immediately after Orchard of Hope.

I just love the author’s style of writing in this series. I love the character of Jocie, who is central to the series, along with her father, David, the preacher. There are plenty of other characters to keep the story moving along, and enough action to keep the reader from nodding off. This second book is long, not a quick read, but compelling reading.

If you are looking for a book where faith is demonstrated in daily living, this is it. There are characters who believe strongly in the sovereignty of God, characters who do not, and characters who struggle to accept it. It is wonderful to read such in-depth insight into the hearts of these characters.

Ann H. Gabhart’s writing consistently puts the reader right on the page, in Hollyhill, by her descriptive writing. Historically this book is set in Kentucky during the Civil Rights movement. While Civil Rights is not central to the story, it does play a strong part, and parallels the theme of forgiveness. There are many relationships in the book with which the reader may identify. I was particularly drawn to Miss Sally and Leigh.

I highly recommend this book and the Hollyhill series without reservation. Excellent writing, clean, and glorifying to God.

View all my reviews


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