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MIRACLE in a DRY SEASON by SARAH LOUDIN THOMAS REVIEWED


ABOUT AUTHOR: 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, releases August 2014 through Bethany House. 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.




Miracle in a Dry Season
By Sarah Loudin Thomas
Published by Bethany House
ISBN#978-0-7642-1225-3
300 Pages

Back Cover: In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud
That Brings Hope


It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the
mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor . . . until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

REVIEW: Thanks to The Book Club Network for the review copy of a book that introduced me to Sarah Loudin Thomas and her debut novel. I instantly connected with her larger than life characters and couldn’t stop reading this story about a small town facing a severe drought.

Casewell is a single man who owned his own business. He liked working with wood, making furniture, woodcarving and working on his father’s farm. The drought brought back memories of the great depression for many…”Casewell remembers having little more than corn bread and milk for dinner and seeing the hard looks on his parents’ face.” Now he saw that same look on the people in his community.

There’s someone new in this small community called Wise. Her name is Perla. She and her young daughter have come to live with relatives. People want to blame their problems on her. She's new and an unwed mother. Not a winning combinations as far as the people in Wise are concerned.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged” Gossip does a number on the people who live in Wise. The meaning of this scripture comes to a head when the judging comes from the Pastor. Someone you should be able to trust. (not in Wise).

Casewell meets Perla and her beautiful, fun loving daughter. He tries to keep to himself but He doesn't like how people are treating this precious little girl and her mom, who just happens to be the most beautiful women he's ever met.

Big or small it’s all sin. The author drives home themes of forgiveness in a powerful non-preachy way. Casewell says this when it’s his time to say something at church, “That’s how God does us. He’ll forgive us anything – all we have to do is ask Him. I know I've had to ask Him for plenty of forgiveness here lately. He doesn't hold it over me. He doesn't carry a grudge, and I don’t think He even remembers what I needed forgiveness for. All He asks is that I forgive other people the way He’s forgiven me.”

Casewell smiled, “I know. Easier said than done. Somehow other people’s sins seems to look worse than mine…But in God’s eyes sin is sin, whether it’s murder or telling a little white lie. We all need forgiveness just the same…and we need to dish out forgiveness just as quick as we dish out judgment and condemnation. Jesus made it pretty clear that God’s forgiveness depends on our forgiving one another.”

This novel is mainly written in Casewell’s pov. The writing style and flow of the story reminded me of the movie Forest Gump. There was the narration in first person and then you had live action. This is a thought-provoking read that would be a great book club pick. There are discussion questions in the back that will help generate lively discussion.

I liked this cast of flawed quirky characters living through challenging times. It’s a heart-felt, novel that will grab your attention, get your blood boiling at the Pastor and how crazy people became as the drought worsened. Your heart will hurt for Perla and her young daughter. These characters will stay in your heart and mind long after you close the book.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.boofun.org 
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com   
The Book Club Network Blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
  
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Sarah & I at the ICRS in Atlanta this Summer

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.boofun.org 
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com   
The Book Club Network Blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com    

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