Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Thomas (Miracle in a Dry Season) continues the touching Appalachian story of Perla Phillips as she seeks to free the secret she has kept hidden for decades. After years of protecting the details of the birth of her daughter, Sadie, she realizes the need to open up about the truth. But when a sudden stroke leaves her helpless and unable to speak, Perla fears her tale may follow her to the grave. Middle-aged Sadie’s bitterness toward Perla only grows with the fear that she may never know her father’s name. Too proud to ask her after refusing to know her father’s identity earlier in life, Sadie searches for the truth alone, leaving her daughter, Ella, to care for Perla. Being with Perla gives Ella the time to soak up wisdom from her grandmother while focusing on her art and the two young men pursuing her. Although her grandmother is suffering, there are still many teachable moments, such as a thought-provoking side plot concerning a wealthy developer who comes to town to consider buying the ancient county church, encapsulating the importance of family over material things. The story of Perla’s life is told intermittently alongside events set in the present day, nicely building tension as the family moves from coldness to reconciliation. Thomas’s realistic depiction of wavering but unbreakable family ties brings depth to the story of coming to terms with the past and living with faith in the face of uncertainty. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such (Aug.)