Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?
Pepper Basham eloquently captured the very essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains and warmly welcomed me home within the pages of this fantastic book. I loved this story and I seriously didn’t want it to end. The closer I got to the end of the book, the slower I read, savoring each word, each phrase! Opening the pages of this story and diving in, was like going home! I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and while I may not live there now, it is still home to me.
I’d love to sit down for a chat or get the chance to cook with Laurel McAdams. She is a strong young woman, filled with grace and courage. Her kindness to outsiders and her helpful nature is sure to draw you in. Laurel is open to new ideas and not afraid to stand up for what is right, even in the face of many who would choose to fiercely cling to tradition and superstition. She has big dreams and determination to see her way to fulfill those dreams!
Teacher, Jonathan Taylor comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains to escape the heavy-handed expectations of his father and to prove himself capable and worthy. But will his reasons to leave behind all he knew and immerse himself in a culture that is highly suspicious of anything new be enough to keep him teaching in the Blue Ridge Mountains?
I fell in love with these dynamic, engaging characters! I appreciated their growth in the story as well as the wisdom of the secondary characters that provided a welcome insight and encouragement.
There is plenty of excitement to enjoy. From a mountain lion encounter, a brutal snowstorm, a couple of disgruntled mountain men, larceny, saving a child with a severe allergic reaction, and much more! You are sure to find an exciting plot-line, delightful characters, all set in a beautiful setting. I give this story 5-enthusiastic stars and encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy!
(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)
About the Author:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.