Sunday, July 07, 2013

Small Town Girl by Ann H. Gabhart

How long can two people stand on the brink of love without plunging in headfirst? In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates with apprehension, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh.

As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking.

And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest. Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything and Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways.

Could she truly be in love with him? And if he enlists, will she ever see him again? In her gentle and textured style, Ann H. Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip your heart and stir your spirit. Fans of Gabhart's Angel Sister will love seeing Kate Merritt all grown-up, as well as other characters they have come to love.

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Ann H. Gabhart and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Small Town Girl" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Kate Merritt watches her sister marry the man she’s loved since she was 15 in “Small Town Girl” by Ann H. Gabhart.  But what Kate feels is a tragic circumstance turns into a blessing in disguise.  Best man, Jay Tanner, appears to be a womanizer and is very attentive to Kate.  Whether Jay and Kate can take a chance on love is shadowed by the looming entrance of the United States into WWII, the interference of other people and damage from the past.

“Small Town Girl” looks at the importance of love and family and the fact that family love doesn’t necessarily mean there is a link by blood and birth.  Threads of spirituality and patriotism and forgiveness create a strong backbone on which Ms. Gabhart hangs fleshy characters and a naturally flowing plotline.

This novel is thoroughly enjoyable and surprising.  I must admit that I’ve read several novels lately that have been predictable and frustrating.  I knew the characters were going to do something stupid to create drama and conflict, but I wanted to enjoy the book so badly that I bought it.  “Small Town Girl” wasn’t like that at all.  While reading this beautiful book, I had one of those moments where I just “knew” that one of the characters was going to do something stupid to create conflict in the plot.  Surprisingly, I was wrong.  Hallelujah!  These characters have integrity.  This appears to be the mark of a truly gifted author.  Thank you, Ann Gabhart, for showing me that really good stories with legitimate conflict are out there!  Although the end was a bit abrupt, this was a wonderful book that I am proud to add to my “keeper” shelf.  But I imagine fans of the first book will love this one also since I believe the first book probably ended in a similar fashion.  I can’t wait for book three…  Please let there be a book three!

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