The Scent Of Lilacs
The Heart Of Hollyhill book 1
by Ann H. Gabhart
-From the back cover-
AFTER THE SUMMER OF 1964,
LIFE FOR JOCIE BROOKE WILL
NEVER BE THE SAME.
Life-changing events rarely happen in quiet Hollyhill, Kentucky, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for young Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once during the humid summer of 1964. Though on the surface things are just fine, it seems like everyone in Jocie's life has something they're not saying, something they're hiding from her – and from themselves. As Jocie digs into her family's past, she stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries. Will she find the answers everyone so desperately needs? Or will her questions lead to truths better left hidden?
Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love.
This is one of those books I actually wanted to read just because I liked the cover so well. Of course it didn't hurt that it was written by Ann Gabhart, I have read and enjoyed several of her Shaker novels. Based on the cover I thought I was going to get a Young Adult coming-of-age type story with a little mystery, all set in a Mayberryesque town. I was very pleasantly surprised to find so much more than that.
This story is primarily from Jocie's viewpoint, though her father, David is a close second. While not in the first person we get to see glimpses into the heads of several characters, Tabitha, Aunt Love etc. I normally find skipping viewpoints a bit of a pain in the neck to read but I didn't with this book, in fact I liked it much better that way, the author switched viewpoints very cleanly and nicely. Each of these characters has a story to tell and secrets to keep.
I really liked Jocie and David, they were real people with real problems. I found myself wanting to drop in on an evening to say hello and talk about the latest issue of The Banner. I enjoyed the way that Ann Gabhart manages to span the generations, accurately portraying the thoughts and feelings of each.
This Book earned a 4 Bark Rating.
I received this book from the Publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
There were also some very poignant thoughts on prayer, everything from Jocie's childlike belief that God will answer her Sister-Prayer and Dog-Prayer, to David's inner thoughts on how we treat prayer and miracles in our own lives. This really made me think about my own prayer life, how I can, and should believe that God really can do the things He did in Bible times. Can and even still does.
Well-written in every way, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a sweet story with a little mystery and some surprises.
Tell Tale Book Reviews gives Scent Of Lilacs a 4 Bark Rating.
Note: While this looks like it could be a kids books, it really isn't. Due to some of the topics and language (it is used in the proper context) I would suggest this book for ages 16+, depending on the young person.