Book Review: Appalachian Serenade

18 Jun

81Mgy8eP7tL._SL1500_Delilah Morrissey has always wanted to be a mother, but when she becomes a young widow, that dream now seems farther away than ever. Unable to continue to live alone in Chicago, her only option is to accept her sister’s offer to move in with her family back in West Virginia. Will Delilah have the faith to pursue a new dream — even if it means giving up the old?

In this charming novella, debut novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas introduces readers to Wise, West Virginia — a small town nestled in an Appalachian valley where the everyday miracles of life and faith play out in stories of healing, hope, and love.



chairSarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, releases August 2014 through Bethany House.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle – the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and – you guessed it – reading.


My Impressions:

There seems to be a new trend in publishing to have authors, established and newbies, produce novella length works to either introduce the targeted audience to the authors or to give some extra background to a novel that has been or is yet to be published. In the case of Sarah Loudin Thomas’ Appalachian Serenade, the publisher is doing both. I find the trend a great way to pique readers’ curiosity and to whet their appetite for more. From what I saw in this novella, I would say Thomas’ novel, Miracle in A Dry Season, due out in August, is sure to please historical romance fans.

It’s 1945 and Delilah has been back in her hometown of Wise, West Virginia, only a short time when she feels the need to be doing something. Living with her older sister’s family after the death of her husband has been an answer to prayer, but she wants to contribute more than helping with the laundry. During a visit to the local store, Delilah is offered a job helping customers — she seems to have a knack for knowing what people are looking for. Soon she and the store owner, Robert, are attracted to each other, but their goals seem contrary to each other.

In just a few pages, Thomas creates a great sense of community that is Wise. Not sure how she did it, but the characters did not suffer for the short format. Each character, both major and minor, became real to this reader. The love story is very satisfying, if just a bit predictable, and I loved how Thomas subtly sends the message of how God places His people in families. If you are looking for a sweet romance, look no further than Appalachian Serenade. And if you, like me, are charmed by the town and its inhabitants, you only have to wait 2 months for the release of the Thomas’ full-length novel, A Miracle in A Dry Season.

(I purchased this novella for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

If you would like to purchase this book, click on the image below. It is currently FREE on Amazon!

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