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Scent of Lilacs

Title:  Scent of Lilacs
Author:  Ann H. Gabhhart
Pages:  352
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
                The original novel was published in the year 2005, and I am so glad Revell published this story again.  Back in 2005, I was busy caring for aging parents, homeschooling along with a host of other life experiences.  I would have missed a very touching novel and the richness of the author’s storytelling adventure that at first glimpse didn’t seem to draw my attention.
                As you read through the book little by little the various pieces of the story come together to bring the readers to the overall complete picture.  There is a small town where everyone usually knows their neighbor as well as the latest gossip.  The town has one newspaper printed one time a week and not many earth-shattering events happen.  David is a single parent, raising his daughter alone as one night many years back his wife left with their firstborn.  David is the owner of the newspaper and interim preacher at one of the local churches.  Now, after so long, his firstborn daughter comes home and secrets of the past slowly come to the forefront.  The secrets of many characters affect a variety of people, and above all, faith and the Word are either the anchor that holds or not.  Some characters learn some heartbreaking news, forcing them to decide whether to trust and believe the Lord or not.
                The novel has the mystery flavoring throughout the pages, along with what is going to be shown about the characters pasts and if it affects their futures.  One theme that comes out really strong is whether characters’ reactions to truth is going to be used to shame them or allow God to reveal Himself to them in new ways.  One young lady in the story doesn’t have a clue as to her true heritage until a town bully calls her a nasty name that causes her to run away and place herself in harm’s way when the weather becomes dangerous.  Some of the colorful characters will probably remind anyone who reads the novel of someone just like that in their real everyday life.  When I started reading, I thought the book wasn’t going to be one of the better ones I have read by Ann Gabhart.  As I continued reading though I suddenly found myself very engrossed and losing track of time as I wanted to finish the story to see the various threads of the tale come together to view the final picture.
                It reminded me as I was reading that we can embrace those who are hard to understand or reject them.  People can run towards God when their life falls apart or try to find other ways to fix or ignore their broken hearts or lives.  Another subtheme is that when we lose someone we love, we learn to live with the pain if we take it to the Lord rather than trying to ignore it.  Christians are real people with thoughts that are just as dark as any other human.  Christians make mistakes, have fears, and question God about a multitude of things, none of which makes that person less Christian.  Read the book and see what you might think about when you’re done; it just might be worth it!
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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