If this is Sarah's first book, you couldn't prove it by me. Rich is the description I'd give this story - rich in depth of characters and description of the town they live in, rich in God's lessons. If you grew up in a small town, you'll recognize Wise, Virginia of the mid 1950's in this story.
Perla is a woman with a past, with evidence to show for it in her little daughter - and no husband. Forced out of her parents home and her hometown, she comes to live with her Aunt and Uncle, where no one really knows them. But it doesn't take long for this town to form opinions about her too. Including Casewell, a most upstanding citizen and confirmed bachelor.
But Casewell is more and more drawn to this special woman who helps the whole town despite how she's treated. Eventually he takes her side no matter what they think. Perla doesn't feel she deserves it. You can't help but become endeared to these two. Through a drought and the death of Casewell's father, they work things through. In time they and the town 'resurrect their own spirits in the assurance of a forgiveness that brings life everlasting. Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning'!
................................There was one aspect of the book that I struggled with though. Perla had a gift of making food that would feed everyone that was in attendance, no matter how many and no matter that the ingredients she used were few. Something like the parable of loaves and fishes from the bible. This is the gift that she shared with the town. She made food from the small stores they had during the drought, and fed the whole town. She doesn't brag about it or abuse it, it just happens. I would feel better about it if she called on God and He answered rather than something she was endowed with.
I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any other way.