Mar 16, 2013

Scent of Lilacs by Ann H. Gabhart

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.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at

Life in a small town in the summer of 1964 was far from exciting. Jocie keeps herself busy but her life isn't like that of most teenagers. Jocie's dad is a single parent, he's the local preacher, and he also writes articles and publishes the local newspaper.

The Brooke family was definitely viewed as unconventional. A mother abandoning her family, a divorced father as a pastor, and an elderly aunt who is bordering on senility but with an unlimited treasure of memorized scripture that she quotes at the drop of a hat, and a young girl who stresses about who will take her shopping for her first bra.

I have read several books by Ann Gabhart, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I actually struggled with Scent of Lilacs for several chapters before I was drawn into the story. It started out with a slow-moving summertime account of Jocie and her family and their somewhat humdrum life. As the summer unfolds, the drama increases and I am glad that I continued reading.

For a look into what small town life might have been like in the mid-60's, Scent of Lilacs is a refreshing account from a teenager's perspective. There was much that I could relate to in this story, and Jocie is the kind of person that I wish I had as a friend while growing up. This story is filled with faith, family loyalty and unconditional love - no matter what the cost.

Disclosure: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Janet Ruth. It's been way too long since I've paid you a visit!! I'm trying to reconnect with some bloggers I felt I kinda got to know early on!!! HOPE all is well with you!!