Monday, March 18, 2013

Scent of Lilacs

Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell
March 2013
ISBN: 978-0800730802
Genre: women’s fiction

After the summer of 1964, life for Jocie Brooke will never be the same.

Life-changing events rarely happen in quiet Hollyhill, Kentucky, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for young Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once during the humid summer of 1964. Though on the surface things are just fine, it seems like everyone in Jocie's life has something they're not saying, something they're hiding from her--and from themselves. As Jocie digs into her family's past, she stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries. Will she find the answers everyone so desperately needs? Or will her questions lead to truths better left hidden?

Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love.

SCENT OF LILACS is mostly written in the point of view of Jocie, with a few forays into the point of view of her father, David. Jocie is a prayer, though she believes most people don’t even know what they pray, but her main prayers are for a dog, and for her sister—who disappeared seven years ago, with her mama. David is candidating to be an interim pastor at a church, but has little hope since he’s divorced. He’s also struggling with the town paper and Jocie who is asking too many questions that he can’t – or won’t – answer.

I wasn’t sure whether to classify this book as contemporary or historical. It happened before I was born, so has kind of a historical feel, but the back of the book says contemporary. I finally decided on women’s fiction. Either way, it is a character driven story, and one can’t help but fall in love with Jocie and with her father, David. Even the secondary characters, Wes, and her eccentric great aunt Love are well developed.

If you love character driven books, you won’t want to miss SCENT OF LILACS. It is a great read. $14.99. 352 pages. 

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