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Small Town Girl: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 2013
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Kate Merritt is in love with the groom, Mike Champion. Unfortunately, the bride is Evie, her sister. But when best man Jay Tanner shows an interest in Kate, she gets over her crush on Mike and begins to have feelings for Jay. Since they were kids, Carl Noland has assumed Kate would marry him, and the townspeople of Rosey Corner accept this as a done deal. But now, when Kate tells Carl once and for all that they are not a couple, Carl reacts by enlisting in the navy. How is she to know that WWII is about to start, and the people of Rosey Corner will blame her for Carl being in harm’s way? Gabhart (The Gifted, 2012) has captured the essence of small-town America on the verge of war, and fans of inspirational fiction will appreciate this novel’s overtly faith-based message. --Shelley Mosley
From the Back Cover
How long can two people stand on the brink of love without plunging in headfirst?
In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates with apprehension, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can't draw her interest.
Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything and Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways. Could she truly be in love with him? And if he enlists, will she ever see him again?
In her gentle and textured style, Ann H. Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip your heart and stir your spirit. Fans of Gabhart's Angel Sister will love seeing Kate Merritt all grown-up, as well as other characters they have come to love.
"A classic. Ann Gabhart pens an enduring tale from the very first line of Small Town Girl. Rosey Corner is a world you won't want to leave, rife with spiritual truths, rich romance, and memorable characters that linger long after."--Laura Frantz, author of The Colonel's Lady and Love's Reckoning
"The characters of Ann Gabhart's Small Town Girl pulled me into their lives and did not let me go. This love story is one of the most riveting historical romances I've ever read."--Serena B. Miller, winner of the 2012 RITA award for Inspirational Romance
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at www.annhgabhart.com.
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It happens that I had read "Angel Sister" by Ann H, Gabhart a while back found it to be a great book that I absolutely loved.
"Small Town Girl" happens to be a sequel to that book but if you did not read "Angel Sister" don't worry, "Small Town Girl" stands on it's own.
The story is about the love shown by a family (The Merritt's) to the father even when he was coming home drunk every night, to a little girl (Birdie) who was abandoned as a child, to a questionable friend of the preacher in their church, Jay Tanner, to a dear, old friend, and to all family - one to the other.
Jay had his own battles since being on his own from the time his mom died when he was a boy; he is handsome and has a personality that causes everyone to love him, yet he feels incapable of feeling love, and perhaps unsure how to give love, Until, at the preacher's wedding (Jay's only best friend) he meets Kate. it was attraction at first sight, but for the first few days Kate remained aloof - for she still felt a longing for Mike, the preacher-the man her sister just married.
This story is full of wonderful characters, all who share their own particular, and in some cases, peculiar wisdom. It is about the fear of WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the war that is rapidly scooping up our young men, including the preacher and Jay as well.
It is about being so in love that only the two can hear the music at midnight, as they dance in the woods. It is about being so close to losing the one you love, due to lack of trust, and the turn-around when each finally comes to terms that they were wrong in their own right.
After reading a few of the reviews on Amazon, I sometimes wonder if it is really HOW the reader 'reads' the story that causes them to comment on a slow start - about any book. I did not find that to be the case at all, however, I am an avid reader and can easily get swept into most stories. This one did not fail to do that for me.
I think this is a great story to follow "Angel Sister". I'm suspecting there will be a sequel to "Small Town Girl" as well. If you have read nothing by Ann Gabhart, you might want to give her a try.
Evie marries Mike, the preacher in Rosey Corner, Victoria is in love with Sammy, Lorena is only ten years old and doesn't like boys yet, and Kate is not in any rush until she meets Jay at Evie's wedding.
Jay has been a drifter most of his life, but after meeting Kate he decides to stay around in Rosey Corner. Kate sees something in Jay she's never seen before in any of the men in Rosey Corner. Her family welcomes Jay in a way he's never experienced before, but it's Kate who has captured his heart and he does all he can to capture hers, including giving Lorena a puppy named Trouble.
As I finished reading this book, I was struck by some similarities to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The four sisters, the setting during war time, the giving nature of the March and Merritt families. Ann has written a series that will endure.
Five stars, two thumbs up, and a new puppy. Angel Sister: A Novel
Jay has never had a real family and he had no intention on staying in Rosey Corner's any longer than it took to stand up for Mike at his wedding and then taking off his suit and getting back on the road. But something about that place and the people began tugging on his heart. Or was it God using those folks to help reach Jay? Graham and Poe are still around, along with Graham's sister Fern. The whole crew is there, with the exception of Grandfather Merritt and what little we learn about him makes me want to know much more.
It's 1941, coming up on December 7th and the bottom falls out for everyone. Pearl Harbor has been attacked and that means lives lost and loved ones will be leaving. Will they leave with their heart full of love or will they leave heartbroken? God's still working in the lives of those who live in Rosey Corner and when God works on a person, they may as well just go ahead and give in. Being in a relationship with God is the best relationship to be in and some people find that out the easy way and some the hard way. But either way, you end up full of peace and find your true family.
If you haven't read the first book, Angel Sister, you'll have to read it first. Then hurry and get this book and sit back in your best reading chair, a cup of tea, a few cookies and enjoy the ride!
This book was like coming back home, seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and finding out surprising information about some you didn't particularly like! When I read, Angel Sister, I had no idea that there would be a sequel, so I was sad to see it end. Reading Small Town Girl was like an unexpected Christmas gift!
I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest opinion and did not receive any compensation for a favorable review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."