In the Dark of the Mine, In the Face of Rising Water,
In the Shadows of the Hills, Faith Will See Them Through
Judd Markley knew he could never set foot underground again. The mine collapse that nearly killed him and claimed his brother’s life meant leaving West Virginia forever. Although that hard Appalachian world was all he knew, he put it behind him and headed for the open sky of the thriving town of 1954 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Larkin Heyward’s life in the beach town is uncomplicated, mostly volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more and being more–maybe moving to the hills and hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.
Drawn together in the wake of a hurricane that changes Myrtle Beach forever, Judd’s and Larkin’s dreams pull them in divergent directions. It will take a significant sacrifice to keep them together–or maybe, it will take a miracle.
The first thing that captured my attention about this book is the setting. From Mountains of West Virginia to the coast of Myrtle Beach, SC and to the hills of Kentucky this book will introduce to various cultures and people that populate the various regions. I found the descriptions of the locations realistic and believable.
Rich with Appalachian dialect, and feisty characters you are sure to feel like you are right there in the story. I did, however, find it difficult to connect with the main characters. While they are charming and believable, I just couldn’t quite seem to connect with them in this story.
My favorite character is a secondary character, Granny Jane, a cantankerous old woman from the hills of Kentucky. Her wisdom and wit brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion.
If you are looking for a story to read that will give you a glimpse into what everyday life was like for people living the in the 1950’s then you won’t want to miss this story. Overall, I’d give this book 3.5 stars, as this is an enjoyable story to read.
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
“I’m beginning to think you can do God’s work anywhere. All you have to do is look for someone who’s hurting and see if you can ease the pain.”
Click here to read the first chapter of The Sound of Rain
About the Author:
Sarah 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, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.
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.