Beyond These Hills
Smoky Mountain Dreams book 3
by Sandra Robbins
-From the back cover-
“I don't know what the future holds for us,
but I do know one thing. God won't abandon us.
He's got good things coming our way.”
It's 1934, and Laurel Jackson fears that the life she's always known is about to become a memory. The government is purchasing property to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National park, and nearly all the families in Cades Cove have decided to sell. Laurel is determined to save the land her family has lived on for a hundred years.
Andrew Brady, the son of a wealthy Virginia congressman, arrives in the Cove to persuade the remaining landowners to sell. Sparks fly when he meets Laurel, the outspoken young woman who is determined to thwart his every effort. Will they ever be able to put aside their differences and accept what their hearts already know?
In the third and final book in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series, acclaimed author Sandra Robbins brings a dramatic conclusion to the story of the families of Cades Cove.
A bittersweet story of love, family, loss, and hope.
I have to say at the start that I did read this book out of order. Beyond These Hills is book 3 in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series but I did read it first. Not sure how this will affect reading the 2 preceding books but I think it will be fun to read about Laurel's parents and grandparents when they were younger.
This is a pretty straightforward story, easy to follow, but still exciting. Laurel's family has sunk their roots deep in Cades Cove. But now the Government is buying up the land at low prices in order to build the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sending in CCC camps to do the work. Laurel's family is one of the most vocal holdouts, they are respectful but determined to stay. Andrew, of course, is the guy sent to convince the last holdouts to leave.
This Book earned a 4 Bark rating.
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It was fun watching Andrew change through the story. He starts out hurt, a bit bitter, insecure, and searching. By the end of the book he has become a man.
There are two very different kinds of families portrayed in this story. Laurel's family is a loving, supportive, faith-filled group. Andrew's, only he and his father are living, are the exact opposite. The interaction between generations in the Jackson and Martin families was wonderful. If only families today could lean on each other like Laurel's does, but I fear we are more often like the Brady's, absent, and furthering our own agendas.
I absolutely loved the history in this book. The Great Depression, the beginnings of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It was clear that the author dif quite a bit of research when writing Beyond These Hills.
In a similar vein this book also shows the pain that so often accompanies 'progress'. I felt the sadness and pain of each family member as they came to terms with the inevitable. It also tells how a family relies on their faith and each other to get through it and come out strong.
History, family, romance and a dramatic almost-ending make Beyond These Hills a must-read historical novel.
Tell Tale Book Reviews gives Beyond These Hills by Sandra Robbins a 4 Bark rating.
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Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2013)