Saturday, February 26, 2011
Angel Sister by Ann H. Gabhart ~ review
Product Description from Amazon.com:
It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together. Her father slowly slips into alcoholism and his business suffers during the Great Depression. As her mother tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?
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 times. Multidimensional characters face real and trenchant problems while maintaining their family bonds, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer. Readers will be drawn into the story and find themselves lingering there long after they've finished the book.
My take on this book:
Its the summer of 1936 and the US is in the throws of the Great Depression. Fourteen year old Kate Merritt and her family live in the tiny town of Rosey Corner Ky. The Merritt sisters are totally different, Evangeline, is sixteen, and totally lovestruck, while ten year old Victoria loves to fish, leaving Kate to be the responsible one. Her father Victor, is dealing with inner demons, and more often than not turns to alcohol to get thru the day, while Kate's mother Nadine is a steady influence, she often relies on Kate to be the responsible one. When Nadine finds five year old Lorena Birdsong sitting on the church steps, the little girl believes that Kate is an angel, the Merritts open their hearts and home to little Lorena, but because of Victor's drinking problem, the town decides Lorena would be better off with a different family, but Lorena doesn't want to leave the Merritt's. Will the Merritt's be allowed to keep Lorena?
The characters literally jumped off the pages in this story. While the story centered around Kate, I enjoyed how the author gave us glimpses back in time to the days when Victor and Nadine were dating and became newlyweds. It was so easy to see how much Victor loved his family,even swallowing his pride and going to his fathers store to ask for credit so that he could feed his family.
How difficult it must have been for Lorena's mother to leave her at that church, relying on the kindness of strangers to take care of her precious daughter, reminding her to remember who she was, telling her to say her name every day so that she wouldn't forget, it just broke my heart.
I found the secondary characters really added to this story. It was interesting to learn who Fern's lost love was, and how she tied into the story, but I think my favorite secondary character had to be Graham, who was doing his best to take care of his sister Fern.
I have never read anything by Ms. Gabhart but this book makes me want to read everything she has ever written. She pulls you into her characters lives, by weaving a story so real that I had to remind myself I was actually reading fiction.This was one of those stories where you hate to see it end.
If your a fan of inspirational historical fiction, with characters that you wont forget, I highly recommend you read this story.
“Available February 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”