Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Angel Sister by Ann H. Gabhart
It's 1936 and Kate Merritt, middle daughter of Victor and Nadine, just 14, feels a great burden to shelter her mother and sisters as her father slips further into alcoholism. Nothing she does seems to please either of her grandfathers, both prominent members of the community. She doesn't understand, and actually neither do her parents, while the two men, one the local preacher and the other, a well-to- do store owner, can agree on nothing, except that their children never should have married.
Then one hot summer morning, Kate finds an abandoned girl on the steps of her grandfather's church. Little Lorena Birdsong has been left behind by a family traveling west in hopes that they can find work. When Loren a looks up, amidst tears, to see Kate, she is sure God has sent her an angel just to care for her. Kate's family, despite their own Great Depression hardships, willingly open their hearts and home to the little girl, but within days the two grandfathers have one more thing they can agree on -- that the little girl should NOT be a member of the Merritt family. Can Victor put aside the bottle and find the strength to be the father his daughters need, or will the demon dreams of WWI and his childhood forever imprison him? Can Nadine forgive Victor his weaknesses or will she remain trapped by her father domineering hand?
I listened to this novel (as I sewed. walked to town, and such) and I loved it, absolutely loved it.
Every character rings true and adds so much to the unfolding story. You'll almost be able to taste Aunt Hattie's lemonade and hear her testimony of faith and hope amidst sorrow. And Fern Lundeen brings an unexpected aura of danger and mystery to Rosey Corner.
So often, I find Christian fiction, although it tells worthwhile stories and has admirable characters, lacks the drama/depth/cohesiveness of well written literary fiction. I think Ann H. Gabhart has the talent to create dramatic fiction which does all this while threading a genuine story of faith restored or grown. I am delighted to hear that life in Rosey Corner will continue in Gabhart's new book Small Town Girl which will be released in July 2013.