Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Until the Harvest

GIVEAWAY

THOMAS, SARAH LOUDIN
UNTIL THE HARVEST

"Once in a while a new author...makes you sit up and take notice."--"Library Journal" When a family tragedy derails Henry Phillips's college studies, he's left unmoored and feeling abandoned. Although Henry tries to find escape in bad company, the only things that can tamp down his anger and grief are the family farm, his fiddle, and sweet but unusual pre-teen Mayfair Hoffman.

Unfortunately, Mayfair's older sister, Margaret, with the freckles and cute, turned-up nose, has the opposite effect. Worse, she's his grandmother's housekeeper and helper, so she's always around and ready to push his buttons. At first he thinks she doesn't care about his loss, before beginning to understand she's facing her own struggles. Mayfair's health and unique gift sit at the heart of those worries, and Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as both Henry's future and Mayfair's life are put at risk.  

My Review:

 Until the Harvest is set in 1975-76 which makes it just on the cusp of being considered historical fiction (up to the end of the Vietnam War -- April 1975.)  Though I found it to have a real 1930s vibe, perhaps because of the rural setting.

This is Book Two in the Appalachian Blessings series but reads well as a standalone. If you have read Miracle in a Dry Season you will recognize Perla and Casewell and that's where I ran into difficulties because the author really messes with my preconceived happily ever after for those two.

So my heart hurt during this read. A lot. I don't regret reading Until the Harvest, it was just hard in places. Really hard.

For one thing, Henry is not the son I envisioned for them. I mean if you had Perla and Casewell for parents wouldn't you turn out perfect? LOL. Okay, so that's very unrealistic which makes this a very true to life kind of story. Because, honestly, really good parents have kids who do really stupid things. Kids who don't recognize how good they have it. How much they are loved. How blessed their childhood has been. Sigh. That describes Henry to a T. He's headed in the wrong direction, allowing bitterness and anger to dictate his actions.

I did not like Henry. In fact, I was prepared to dislike him until the bitter end, but Thomas weaves her magic and pretty soon my defences started to crumble. Though there is an awesome scene where Margaret finally lets him have it -- a scathing paragraph that I loved so much I read it several times over. Take that Mr. Self-Absorbed Henry Phillips!

Which brings me to Margaret. Wounded but steadfast. She has emerged from a difficult childhood with an inner strength that is inspiring. One of the delights of this book is watching her blossom under the multi-generational friendship with Henry's mother and grandmother.

And then there's Mayfair, Margaret's fragile little sister. She brings an ethereal quality to the tale. The unexpected anchor for so many people battling life's storms. The sweet purity of her faith brings a special kind of healing.

Emotionally engaging (infuriatingly so at times) -- a memorable story ultimately filled with hope.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY

If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Until the Harvest please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 23 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

24 comments:

  1. From what you wrote it sounds like a good read. kamundsen44(at)yahoo(dot)com. Kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An emotional one for me. Good luck, Kim.

      Delete
  2. I think I have the first book in my TBR stack somewhere! Just not enough time in the day.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know -- how are we supposed to keep up?! Good luck, Patty.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like an interesting family that keeps you guessing! Families are at times so complex.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Family relationships are some of the most complex ever. Good luck, rubynreba.

      Delete
  4. thanks for the chance to read this novel, kav

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Karen. Good luck!

      Delete
  5. 1975 was the year I married so I would really love to read this book since it was set at this time. Thank you for the opportunity, Kav!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really liked the first book, and this one sounds interesting too. Nice review. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really liked Miracle in a Dry Season and the prequel novella (can't remember the name of that). Sarah not only tells a good story, her way of writing is beautiful. I'm really looking forward to reading Until the Harvest. Thanks for the review and the chance to win it.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam -- you're so right, there's something so lyrical about the way this author writes. It's a joy to read -- even in the midst of angst. Good luck.

      Delete
  8. A beautiful review, Kav, thank you!! I'm dying to read "Until the Harvest" - I love Appalachian settings, and the emotion in Sarah's books. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's emotions aplenty here, Bonnie. Good luck.

      Delete
  9. I read Miracle in a Dry Season and thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been on the fence as far as purchasing this one because I have so many books to read; however..... after reading your review I think it's time to either try to win a copy or invest the money in this book. Thanks for a great review, Kav!

    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh -- yes -- you must, Nancee. Good luck.

      Delete
  10. I have both of these books, so no need to enter my name. Since I love your reviews so much, Kav, I had to stop by and read it. Sounds like some great stories that can tear at your heart....love stories like that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book, I look forward to reading both in this series!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Trixi. You're in for some hours of great reading enjoyment.

      Delete
  11. I have this and Sarah's first book on "vital" reading list, because I just know I am going to love them.

    tlhcoupon (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She has a really unique 'voice' -- I think you'll love these stories. Good luck, trosado.

      Delete
  12. I've heard great reviews about this author but haven't read any of her books yet. This one sounds especially great .
    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete