Thursday, July 4, 2013

Book Review: Small Town Girl

Small Town GirlAuthor: Ann H. Gabhart
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Publisher: Revell

In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can’t draw her interest.

Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything. Kate’s friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?

In her gentle and textured style, Ann Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip the heart and stir the spirit. Fans of Angel Sister will be thrilled to see Kate Merritt all grown up. New readers will find that Ann Gabhart weaves in Small Town Girl a beautiful story that will touch their hearts and win their loyalty.

It wasn’t a good thing to be in love with the man your sister was going to marry.

The only man she’d ever wanted to say yes to was less than an hour away from marrying he sister, just as soon as Evie quit finding things to complain about and headed for the church. Kate had been in love with Mike Champion since the first Sunday he’d come to fill in at the church after her Grandfather Reece had a stroke. That was five years ago.

No weather was suit weather for Jay, but here he was in a suit he’d spent next month’s rent money to buy.

“No cake for me,” Kate told her, picking up the icing spoon to scrape a taste of the sweet concoction out of the bowl. “I’m eloping.”

Kate Merritt tries her best to be happy for her sister, Evie, as she marries the man that Kate has adored since she first laid eyes on him. However, inside Kate is breaking and not even the charms of the attractive best man, Jay Tanner, can draw her away from wondering what could have been between her and the minister. Not only is Kate dealing with this slight heartbreak, but rumors of war breaking in Europe are circulating, and Kate will soon come to find out that these are more than rumors; a full out war has broken. Kate’s entire world begins to crumble all around her.

I loved how much historical fiction was actually written into this novel. This is not just a love story, and I honestly enjoyed both sides. Pearl Harbor is a big focus in this book, and I think Ann Gabhart does a phenomenal job of giving readers an idea of what people like Kate and her family were feeling and facing in the moments up to the war. When Jay, who eventually becomes Kate’s love interest, leaves to join the army and is swept up in a full out war, this is when the war really becomes a huge topic of discussion for the characters and especially for Kate. It was touching and heart-wrenching to see how the war changed so many lives.

I absolutely adored Jay and Kate. I think I may have even like Jay a little more than Kate. I wanted to comfort him and write to him in the moments when Kate was at her weakest for whatever reason. The bond between Kate and Jay hit a few rough patches and wasn’t at its best before he went off to war, but I loved the unity and honesty that they shared. I just wish Kate would have not always jumped to conclusions about Jay. She was so distrusting of others, and for good reason, but Jay was the perfect man for her!

***I received a copy of this book as a part of the Revell Blogger Program and was not required to write a positive review***

1 comment:

  1. Reading this one now, Chelsey - it's quite good! Hoping to finish it in the next day or two.

    Glad you liked it so well - I certainly was surprised be how good it's been, and Jay and Kate are fantastic characters!