Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas ~ A Contemporary Fiction Review

Appalachian Blessings, Book 1
Sarah Loudin Thomas
Contemporary Fiction

Back of the book:

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.


My thoughts:

My first introduction to Sarah Thomas' writing was her novella Appalachian Serenade. That story sets the stage for Miracle in a Dry Season. I was thoroughly enchanted by that tale and the characters. I couldn't wait for the release of Miracle in a Dry Season just to find out where the story was going.

The time frame is the mid '50s and the setting is the rural community of Wise, West Virginia. The main character is Perla Long. She's a young mother that has come to stay with her aunt and uncle to hopefully escape some of the nasty things being said about her in her hometown.

Perla is looking for a chance to start fresh with her daughter and she's hoping that is possible in Wise. Unfortunately small towns are small towns. Tongues begin to wag and speculations abound. The one person that Perla confides in begins to distance himself from her. A never married woman with a child is like a pariah in a pious church congregation.

Through a very dire set of circumstances the townspeople begin to realize that they need the gifts that God has bestowed upon Perla. The journey through the crisis is a heart rending experience for everyone. Casewell Phillips is attracted to Perla, but he just can't seem to get past the idea of her having a child out of wedlock. But as the days go on and he begins to submit to God's leading, he teams up with Perla to help the townspeople.

 Miracle in a Dry Season is a beautiful love story. It reminds you that God's ways are not our ways. Things that seem to be a stumbling block can easily be removed when God is in control. It is also a story about forgiveness. We're reminded that we are called to forgive just as we've been forgiven. That also pertains to forgiving ourselves and continuing on the path that has been set before us.

I look forward to reading more of Sarah Thomas' work in the future. If this debut novel is any indication of what her potential is, I'm betting we're going to be reading her novels for some time to come.

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Photo Credit: © Kristen Delliveniri

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