Ann H. Gabhart's Angel Sister and its Great Depression story of the Merritt family and the little girl Lorena that they found on the church steps had to be one of my favorite reads over the past two years. Every character in Rosey Corner added another layer to the story from the family's preacher grandfather to "crazy, scary" Fern who wandered the large woods surrounding the town. That the story of the four sisters (three Merritts and the adopted Lorena Birdsong) returned to share more of their lives in the book Small Town Girl delighted me. It was natural that these young women who had begun to find their personal strengths as the Depression continued would meet the threat of war head on with equal strength, and of course desperate declarations of love are part of the story. (Just as we hurry to record the important stories those WWII veterans have to tell, maybe we should be hurrying to record the many, many unique loves stories of that time, but I digress). I liked Small Town Girl as much as the first novel, but no war story should end without a return home of the troops. So, I was happy to hear that Gabhart had written a third Rosey Corner novel, Love Comes Home, this one focusing on the Merritt family as the soldiers return. Tori struggles with being a single parent while sisters Kate and Evie welcome home their husbands. Like so many real WWII young couples, they face the reality that war has changed their husbands. Plus the jobs the women had excelled at have been eliminated or given to returning vets. It's time to start families, but all is not so easy.
Young Lorena, the five year old left on the church steps, has grown into a talented teenager making herself known on the local radio music shows. Despite her talent and the love of the whole Merritt clan, Lorena struggles with the thought that her real parents abandoned her and never returned.
Rosey Corner continues to be a great place to visit for heart warming stories. Gabhart again has let us peek into the realistic lives of the Merritt family and their loved ones. Like the other books, we see multi-generations living and interacting with each other. Everyone's story is important --- in the end, everyone has added some message of value to the book. I just love the depth of Gabhart's writing. While I highly recommend that readers plan to read all three books, it is not essential. Each book can stand solidly on its own. And while, we can certainly leave the four sisters at the end of Love Comes Home, content that they have found their ways in the world, Gabhart has left enough untold that another visit to Rosey Corner could be forth coming. I mean, weren't the 1950s another exciting time of change and challenge?
I received a copy of Love Comes Home from Revell Publishing for my honest opinion.