In 1954, a young woman arriving somewhere alone was suspicious.
If she came with a child it was scandalous indeed, and it got even worse if she was pretty.
Perla Long was all three... lovely, very alone, and with her past spelled out in bold letters by the presence of her five year-old Sadie.
She was hoping to be anonymous when she came to this close-knit Appalachia town, but there was no chance of that.
Soon everyone would think they knew *what* she was, and perhaps nobody would know *who* she was.
Casewell Phillips was born and bred in that place, and the music of the hills ran in his blood. He was equally at home playing the mandolin or crafting furniture, and he was known for both. At 35, he was almost resigned to living life spouseless. He had his work, and his mother and father close by. Until he laid eyes on Perla.
This seems like a simple tale of second chances and love blooming. It is, at the heart, but it is far more than that alone.
It is a story of drought, and longing for the rain that we humans cannot call down from the sky.
It is a story of judgement, punishment and shunning, and a story of innocence leading the way.
It is a story of great love coming through terrible circumstances.
This book reminded me of a fairy-tale. What I mean is the story seems magical at times, and mystical, and the dark circumstances let the final light shine brightly.
The cast of characters also belong to a uniquely Appalachian fairy tale.
The sweetly impish child Sadie.
The elvish elderly ladies/ who want Casewell to build them a new potato bin.
The wild-haired town drunk/prophet who broke hearts back in 1902.
Perla, the princess-in-disguise, whose gift may save the Kingdom.
Casewell, the one who finds that strength isn't always shown best by proud opposition, sometimes we are strongest when we are accepting another.
I'm am delighted to know that this is the start of a series. I think you will be too. :-)
Thank you to the author, Sarah Loudin Thomas, for a chance to be one of her first reviewers. I received my copy in exchange for sharing my thoughts.