For Jocie Brooke, the summer of 1964 certainly was eventful, but it's nothing compared to what's coming to Hollyhill, Kentucky, and the Brooke family next. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy the relationships that everyone thought were so strong. Two people--one thought to be gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of--are making their way to the small town. And it promises trouble for everyone.
This complex and beautifully written story is the perfect conclusion to The Heart of Hollyhill series. With true-to-life family drama, refreshing humor, and characters readers have come to love like dear friends,Summer of Joy will delight Gabhart's fans.
Everything always happens to 14-year-old Jocie Brook. Tornadoes, Fires, something's always happening to her. Abandoned by her mother, stubborn, tenacious, know-it-all Jocie just attracts trouble. Like the time she ran away and her adopted grandfather, Wes, had a tree fall on him trying to save her from a tornado. Or the fact that her Freshman English teacher seems to hate her for absolutely no reason. Then what happens when her entire world is rocked by the arrivals of two unexpected visitors.
One thing I thought was really neat about this book was the time period. So many times you either have modern day or 1940 or earlier and we totally skip the 60+ years in between. Summer of Joy is set in 1964 in a small town in Kentucky. I think this books describes very well small town life of that era. How everyone knows everyone's business. The tension between the integration of African-Americans into the everyday life of a small southern town.
I think this is a good story that will appeal to a wide range of ages. The main character, Jocie, is a 14-year-old girl, but the secondary characters will pull you in as well. This is the third book in a series; however I don't think you need the other two, although I am intrigued to go back and see how the stories weave together. I also don't think Ms. Gabhart is done with this series so I would be looking for another installation in the HollyHill series.
On a side note, there was one subject I thought Ms. Gabhart handled very, very well, and that was breast cancer. A side character, who shall remain nameless so as not to give anything away, is diagnosed with breast cancer and to see what was not available to women in the 1960's will make you extremely thankful to be alive today.
If you would like to have my copy to read, please leave a comment below and I will pick a name at the end of the week.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Bethany House Publisher's book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/wa...; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.