Perseverance, True Love, and Forgiveness in Troubling Times
It is 1936, and Kate Merritt works hard to keep her family together. Her father has slipped into alcoholism, her mother is trying to come to grips with their dire financial situation, and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to all of it. Kate could never have imagined that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what her family needs.
In this richly textured novel, award-winning author, Ann H. Gabhart, reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled time, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer.
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Outsider, The Believer, and The Seeker. Angel Sister was inspired in part by the many stories her mother and three aunts told her of growing up in small-town Kentucky during the 1930s. Gabhart lives with her husband in Kentucky, a mile from where she was born.
(Photos were retrieved here for the express purpose of reviewing this book.)
“What a jewel of a story. Like a Kentucky summer, Angel Sister stars slow and easy, but by the end, roars along, leaving the reader breathless and wanting more.” –Lauraine Snelling Author of the Red River series, Daughters of Blessing series, and One Perfect Day.
Not ever hearing anyone personally share the difficult times of the 1930s, I found Ann H. Gabhart’s book, Angel Sister, one extremely interesting and touching book.
I was so moved by the issues (what we now call PTSD) that Victor struggled with, and how he used alcohol to drown out the horrors from war and the rejection of his father, though he hated himself while doing it. I could empathize with the distress that Nadine, his wife, went through with his bouts of alcoholism. Though her love didn’t seem to waver, the relationship was strained. Katie, the middle daughter, takes on the brunt of the issues, while her older and younger sisters seem more oblivious to the turmoil. How Victor and Nadine tenderly nurtured their children in midst of the difficult circumstances really touched my heart. That does not always happen in difficult times!
I, personally, had to question my own faith when the faith of each main character was severely challenged in ways that would make them either call out to God or walk away. The faithful prayers of friends and family, along with gentle confrontation, showed the changes only God could produce. Was it then all rose-colored glasses and happily-ever-after? No, but deep character, true love, the process of forgiveness, and the ability to persevere through difficult circumstances were honestly displayed.
The day Katie finds abandoned, five-year-old Lenora Birdsong on the steps of the church, life for the Victor Merritt family changes–some for the better and others in heartbreaking, tumultuous decisions. Ann had me rooting for our modern-day rules to override what actually takes place.
Although Angel Sister is an emotionally-charged book to read, Ann shares how to handle life’s difficult challenges through love and prayer. Definitely a great book for anyone to read!
This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant at Baker Publishing Group, in exchanged for my honest review.