Title: Orchard of Hope (Hollyhill Series #2)
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
I was born in the spring of 1961. The following fall of the same year our nation was devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy. As I read Orchard of Hope, which is set in the south during the sixties in a small town called Hollyhill; historical events mentioned in story reminded me of other life events. Here in this small town the schools are being desegregated. The population of the area is small enough where most people have known each other for decades.
One colorful character, Miss Sally, though in the twilight years of her life, has never married and is witnessing how the Lord gave her the greatest desire of her heart. Then there is Brother David whose firstborn daughter is about to give birth and that makes David feel old even though he isn’t. I liked Leigh who is in her mid-thirties, never married, but has eyes for the one man in the whole town who makes her face turn the color of a rose when she sees him.
Outside the town limits an orchard of apple trees has been planted, but as the drought continues the concern for its output does as well. Perhaps on the night when a gang of bullies come to destroy the orchard and other places on the homestead, it is then that the whole town realizes evil is lurking right there to steal the joy. The first novel in the series is The Scent of Lilacs, which introduces to us the foundation of characters, plot and themes of the books. I have to commend Ann H. Gabhart for this particular story.
Being familiar with an author’s many writings never seems to dull the appreciation of hard work done with prayer, wrapped in love. The themes of prejudice and how the Body of Christ should be different, but looks and sometimes acts just like anybody else highlights the need for a change of heart for God’s people. The change of heart is what changes people and from there it flows out to the community and beyond. No way have I revealed everything in the book or shared all my thoughts about the story. All I can say is read the series, step back in time and be reminded of others who let God change them. They then go forth to point the way to be changed by the love of God.
My rating is 5 stars!
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