Sometimes you come across a book that reads as pure poetry. Such was my experience in reading Ann H. Gabhart's newest novel, Small Town Girl. While this book can be read as a stand-a-lone it is my understanding that the first book set in Rosey Corner is Angel Sister and is the first novel Ms. Gabhart set in the small town of Rosey Corner. Needless to say, I missed that one, but will definitely plan on securing a copy to read before long.
Small Town Girl is Kate Merritt and Jay Tanner's story. It is set in 1941 during WWII. The story begins when Kate's sister Evie marries the town's pastor, Mike Champion. It is a sad day for Kate as she has loved Mike since the age of 15. Little does she know that her loss at the altar was also her gain. Mike's best friend is his longtime friend Jay Tanner who is smitten from the moment he sets his eyes on Kate.
As Kate and Jay's relationship begins to show signs of blossoming, Kate's new brother-in-law begins to try to discourage everyone in letting Kate get near Jay. The reason? Jay has a history of being a womanizer and never stays too long in any one place. Mike doesn't want Kate to get hurt. But Jay feels different this time. Will his feeling win or will he once again become a rolling stone moving on to the next town?
Small Town Girl is a strong story of love, family, friends and forgiveness. The fact that Mike is a pastor and likes to 'preach' at Jay is done in such a way that even the non-Christian would be blessed. Ms. Gabhart's characters have been richly painted on the page and brought to life so incredibly well.
As I mentioned earlier, Ms. Gabhart's words read like pure poetry. My first encounter of this wonderful tone was found on page 34. Here is a short excerpt where Kate and Jay are talking with each other.
His laugh was infectious and Kate couldn't keep from smiling back at him. "Everybody needs a dream. But dreams don't always come true."
"I can't argue with that." His smile faded as he studied her. "Then again, sometimes if a man finds the rhythm that speaks to his heart and if he can dance the right steps, if he can find a way to pull hope out of thin air and not let doubt steal his dream or cause him to whittle it down too small, maybe he can grab hold of that dream and hang on for dear life. That kind of dream can make the sunrise brighter every morning."
I enjoyed reading Small Town Girl and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good clean read. Ms. Gabhart has won me over as a devoted fan of her work and as mentioned before, I will be getting a copy of Angel Sister as soon as I can.
On a 5-Star Scale - 5 wonderful stars!
I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker Publishing for my review copy of Small Town Girl. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest review, which I have done.
"Avaialble July 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"