Sunday, June 27, 2021

Along A Storied Trail By Ann H. Gabhart

along a storied trail
by Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800737214

Having read Ann H. Gabhart's novel An Appalachian Summer a year ago, I knew she was a "must read" for me! So, when given the opportunity to read her new release Along a Storied Trail, I wasn't going to pass it up. I received the book for review.

Summary:

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn't mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in the books she loves. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it--or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long that she's nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it's easier to see what's best for others than to see what's best for oneself. Perdita knows who Tansy should choose, but why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

My Review:

Reading an Ann H. Gabhart story will transport the reader to the location the story is set. You feel, as you read Along a Storied Trail, that you've landed right in the heart of Kentucky. The people, their way of life, the way they talk, it all blends together in a way that you feel like you're part of the story.

Tansy immediately stole my heart. She's set with where she's at in life, not married and a pack horse librarian. Does she like it? You can tell she's content and knows she's doing what needs to be done. Life isn't easy, but she, her ma, and her siblings get by.

Then there's Aunt Perdie. She's called "aunt" by everyone but isn't related to any of them. She's a cantankerous lady whose life doesn't have much left to it. But, God! I loved, loved, loved how God worked in her life because it didn't just affect her, it spread out to many others and it was amazing! I loved how she and Tansy, well, Perdita Sweet and ANYone, conversed. The author used their way of talking to make the story so much more authentic. She did an incredible job! Oh, and so many busy bodies! People sure do take to a plan. *cringe*

Of course we can't forget the men in the story. Damien, a flatlander who shows up and makes Tansy's eyes to wide. Honestly... such a highfalutin guy. My reaction to him was much like Rayma's! Caleb Barton, who grew up in the hills returns after his brother dies. When he was younger, people around those parts thought he was partial to Tansy's sister, Hilda, but he had eyes for the younger sister. Two fellas and one gal don't make for a good combination.

While life isn't easy for anyone in the hills, they're deeply rooted. Many wanting to stay, but plenty ready to leave. All at once you can understand it and not understand it. Their way of life is difficult but fulfilling. They're truly the salt of the earth people. They're the kind of neighbors we all want to be. And I hazard to say they're simple people who are also complex, but you can't miss the heart that's at the center of all they do.

I have to say, I took away some really good tidbits of wisdom from Aunt Perdie of all people. I think most of the quotes I have saved came from her. Her family Bible plays a fantastic role in this story! There's faith touched on in almost every chapter. I liked that Preacher never felt called to be an ordained preacher, but never shied away from sharing the Gospel or telling a Bible story!

Once again I was captivated by the author's writing and I can't wait to reach what she publishes next!

About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The RefugeThe OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as other historical novels, including Angel SisterThese Healing HillsRiver to Redemption, and An Appalachian Summer. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm's fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

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