book review: Angel Sister

<em>Angel Sister</em> [<em>Book</em>]
    The press release interested me in this book. When I received it, though I found it hard to get into and set it aside for the B90 challenge. I just received an e-mail that my review was late, so I started reading again, and I noticed somewhere around page 100 I was hooked. By the time I got to the end I didn’t want it to end.

     This is a story set in the 1930s, but it also looks back into the past of some of the characters. The “sisters” that the story revolves around are a 13 year old girl and a 5 year old who she finds left for her on the church step. The author blends in family struggle, loss, and illness with community as it doesn’t seem to be any more.

     Faith is shared, as well as doubt. I found it interesting that the author Ann H. Gabhart was inspired by true stories from her own family. Though it is a story of love of a little girl, it is also a sad story of years of hatred. True to life emotions run high, for years. It is also a story of forgiveness.

     From the publisher:
     Novelist Ann Gabhart, celebrated for her historical novels, weaves a new story from the Depression era in her latest work, Angel Sister (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3381-0, February 2011, $14.99). Growing up, Gabhart’s mother and aunts told many stories about the small community where they lived in Alton, Kentucky, including tales about the odd characters who lived in Alton. “Despite the hard times and some interesting personalities, what came through to me so clearly was the way those people in that small town cared for one another. My mother’s stories left a huge impression on me and planted the seed in my imagination that became Angel Sister,” says Gabhart.
It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together during the Great Depression. While her father tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?
     In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times. Multidimensional characters face real and hard-hitting problems while maintaining their family bonds, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer. Readers will be drawn into the story and find themselves lingering there long after they’ve finished the book.
     Ann H. Gabhart is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books about the Shakers, including The Believer, The Outsider and The Seeker. Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village and one mile from the place she was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, she has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past. 



  1. Oooo, this sounds like one I'd like!

  2. Sounds interesting, is it more of an adult book or could I read it with my 12 year old?

  3. Cateetee, Interesting question. I went back and looked through the book again before answering. The book is written mostly through a 14yo girl's point of view. (I need to correct that in my review, must have been thinking of my daughter when I wrote 13.) I read a lot with my daughter, but didn't consider this for her. The emotions even of the adults are strong, and I think a child reading it would likely interpret it differently. My advice would be to read it first and then decide. If you are looking for good literature for her, we recently discovered Lamplighter books and my older daughter is enjoying those- so am I.


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