The Finder of Forgotten Things by Sarah Loudin Thomas – Book Review

Posted January 25, 2022 by Phyllis Helton in Best of the Year, Book Reviews /

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The Finder of Forgotten Things by Sarah Loudin Thomas – Book Review

The Finder of Forgotten Things

by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date December 7, 2021
Setting: West Virginia Great Depression - US - 1929-1939
Pages: 384


It's 1932 and Sullivan Harris is on the run. He promised the people of Kline, West Virginia, that he would find them water, but now he's failed and disappeared with their cash. Although he's determined to stay a step ahead of pursuers--like Jeremiah Weber--his resources are running low.

Gainey Floyd is suspicious of Sulley's claim to be a dowser when he appears in town but reconsiders after he finds water. Rather, it's Sulley who grows uneasy when his success makes folks wonder if he can find more than water--like forgotten items or missing people. He lights out to escape such expectations and runs smack into something worse.

Hundreds of men have found jobs digging the Hawks Nest Tunnel--but what they thought was a blessing is killing them. And no one seems to care. Here, Sulley finds something new--a desire to help. As Jeremiah--and now Gainey--pursue him, Sulley becomes the unexpected catalyst for finding what even he has forgotten. Hope.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Though I’ve enjoyed the other books I’ve read by Sarah Loudin Thomas, none have impacted as deeply as The Finder of Forgotten Things! I will continue to mull over this lovely story for a long time, and now that I’ve read it, I want to voraciously consume every other book this author has written!

I’m familiar with the concept of dowsing – and have pretty much always written it off as another version of rainmaking or potions that will heal everything that ails a person. Chicanery. Yet it has always fascinated me and has me wondering if there are some people who really do have this “gift”… I’ve never heard of it used to find people or other things, however.

Sully was my favorite character, even though he was suave and self-centered. And didn’t feel any remorse over putting on a show of finding water for folks and taking their money – even when he didn’t produce any results. You’ll see why when you get to know him yourself.

The descriptions of the towns and the mountains and the people had me fully immersed in Depression-era Appalachia! Though I can’t fathom living by camping out wherever I might happen to wander, or leaving a broken-down car by the side of the road or inviting strangers to sleep on my porch, none of this felt fantastic or unrealistic as I read about it.

It takes great talent to write about something like the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel and have your story be so filled with hope – but that is exactly what the author accomplished. Instead of focusing on the bad, she focused on the changed lives and ended up with a story of hope and love. Yes, there was a little romantic love but this is mostly a story of love towards others and serving them in unexpected ways.

I highly recommend The Finder of Forgotten Things to lovers of historical fiction!

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About Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

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