Sometimes it can be hard to find an author with a unique voice or way of telling stories. I was pleasantly surprised last year when I first picked up a book by Sarah Loudin Thomas. Her style is very earthy and refreshing– a blend of saying how it is and even poetic at times. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this novel and I adored it. Now I have to wait once again for the next novel.
**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Take This Journey of Broken Souls Restored
and Tentative Hearts Brought Fully to Life
When family tragedy derails Henry Phillips’s college studies, he’s left unmoored and feeling abandoned. The only things that can tamp down his grief are the family farm, his fiddle, and an unexpected friendship with sweet but unusual preteen Mayfair Hoffman.
Unfortunately, Mayfair’s older sister, Margaret, despite her spray of freckles and cute, turned-up nose, has a completely different effect. His grandmother’s helper, she’s always around, ready to push his buttons, and it seems at first that she doesn’t care about his troubles.
Henry soon realizes, though, that Margaret’s facing her own struggles. Mayfair’s health and unique gift sit at the heart of those worries. Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as potential tragedy collides with growing hope in a warm story of family bonds and the surprising ways healing finds us all.
“It’s hard to lose someone you love, but I guess it’s even harder if you don’t have anyone to lose.”
-Perla Phillips, Until the Harvest
Characters: Right away, I found myself connecting with Henry Phillips. The tragedy that happens fairly early on in this book, is one that I had experienced in similar ways. His reactions really resonated with me and gave some authenticity to his character. Granted, his reactions continued on a different path than mine, but I found myself connected to him more than I normally feel with characters. Some of the characters are ones that we met in Miracle in a Dry Season and it was a joy to see them again. Some others were new to us, like Margaret and Mayfair. And those two young ladies were especially fun to get to know.
Storyline: This was a fantastic story of family and those bonds with people we are closest to. There was enough action happening to keep it moving, but in those moments… the heart of this story always came back to family and what that meant. I loved that there was such a strong but subtle theme weaving these characters together to form this poignant story.
My Thoughts: Quite simply, I loved it. It was wonderful. This was such a smoothly written story and I was so sad to see it end. It’s hard to part with the characters we enjoy so much in a story. This is a book that I would highly reccommend. If you haven’t read the first book, I reccommend reading that one first… but if you choose to skip it, this novel could read as a standalone.
About the Author:
Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.
A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.
Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.
- Sarah Loudin Thomas’s Website
- Follow Sarah Loudin Thomas on Twitter
- Visit Sarah Loudin Thomas on Facebook
- Appalachian Serenade on Amazon
- Check out Until the Harvest on Amazon