Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review: Summer of Joy

Summer of JoyAuthor: Ann H. Gabhart
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Revell
Series: The Heart of Hollyhill # 3

For Jocie Brooke, the summer of 1964 certainly was eventful, but it's nothing compared to what's coming to Hollyhill, Kentucky, and the Brooke family next. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy the relationships that everyone thought were so strong. Two people--one thought to be gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of--are making their way to the small town. And it promises trouble for everyone. 

This complex and beautifully written story is the perfect conclusion to The Heart of Hollyhill series. With true-to-life family drama, refreshing humor, and characters readers have come to love like dear friends, "Summer of Joy" will delight Gabhart's fans.

Now if indeed the Lord was giving David a second chance at love and a happy marriage, he didn’t want to drag his feet and let Leigh slip away.

“That’s happening this Sunday for sure, God willing and the creek doesn’t rise.”

Zella was through digging into other people’s pasts. Even if it was for the person’s own good.

The strength of any book written by Ann Gabhart is her writing style and the characters she so easily and flawlessly creates. The only reason I gave this book three cupcakes instead of a higher count is because I was unaware this book was part of a series, and I feel that, while this book can stand alone, that I would have been able to connect to it more had I read the first books. Gabhart’s characters are always so relatable. The family in this story could have very well been my own; I felt so comfortable in their presence and like I had known them for years.

This book does switch perspectives a lot, and this annoyed me sometimes, but for the most part it was told from Jocie’s perspective – a fourteen year old girl. This was different for me, and for the most part I enjoyed it. I am used to reading from the point of view of an adult, and Jocie’s voice was a nice change for me. I believe that this makes the book equally appealing to teen as well, not just adults.

This book hit home with me because of the small town feel. We are given a real family facing life’s real struggles. This is something that I think most people can relate to, and what makes this book so enjoyable for many who read it. Again, I really would have liked to have read the first two books in this series, and I may go back and read them in the near future, but I still enjoyed the book and am enough of a fan of Gabhart that I could not turn it down!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Revell in exchange for my honest review***

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