Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I Corinthians 13:7
Do you have the kind of love that endures? I mean, really, truly lasts through situations that appear hopeless. The kind of love that returns blessing for cursing. The kind of love that remembers the good and trusts God to take care of the difficulties.
If your love doesn’t quite look like this, don’t worry. This is the kind of love that describes God and while He desires us to love in this way, He knows we often fall short and when we ask, He will send His Holy Spirit to help us.
So when love is hard, pray. And when love is easy, pray even more!
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream
by Pepper D. Basham
Published by Barbour Books
Publication Date December 5, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: North Carolina World War I Era - 1914 - 1918
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins his uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel's imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel's father's drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?
I would like to thank Barbour Books, Netgalley for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
And I mean that both literally and figuratively. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge took my breath away and found me wiping my eyes more than a few times. The deep love the author has for Appalachia, the place and the people, simply pours off the pages of this book. It sings the song of the mountains, creating a haunting melody that will linger in my heart.
While the story deals with some very hard issues of prejudice (against not only people of color but any “flatlander”), drunken rages, and abject poverty, all this is done with such tact, sensitivity, and hope. I am amazed at the way Laurel and her entire family love her father so deeply that they do what they can to protect themselves from his “dark times”, and yet remember the way he is when he is not controlled by drink.
Jonathan is not immune to family issues, despite his affluent upbringing being so diametrically opposed to the poverty Laurel has grown up in. The accident that left him lame as a child only drove his father to despise him all the more. When his uncle invites him to come teach, he fled from London as quickly as he could.
Laurel and Jonathan both have such a hunger for bringing a love of learning to the children. The gifted manner in which Laurel so naturally helps the little ones learn their letters and how to read is very admirable.
It is so charming how through most of the story, Laurel and Jonathan are friends and don’t have any idea of any feelings stronger than just that until . . . You know, that thing that happens that I can’t mention lest it give away a significant surprise.
If you have read and loved books by Joanne Bischoff, you will adore this one as well.