I received a copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are 100% my own.
In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can’t draw her interest.
Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything. Kate’s friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?
In her gentle and textured style, Ann Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip the heart and stir the spirit. Fans of Angel Sister will be thrilled to see Kate Merritt all grown up. New readers will find that Ann Gabhart weaves in Small Town Girl a beautiful story that will touch their hearts and win their loyalty.
It was interesting reading about a small town that doesn’t really seem to exist much anymore. I can’t imagine living somewhere where everybody knows everybody else and you can walk from the church to the house holding the after-wedding party. However, it seems that Kate and her family flourish in this environment. Jay also seems to embrace this close-knit community.
I rather enjoy reading novels set during WWII. While I’m sure it was terrifying to live during, wondering which one of your loved ones was going to be sent into battle, I find the actions of our country admirable. I don’t think we’d be able to come together as a nation to endure rationing and find ways to support our troops like America did during this war. It’s just fascinating to read about what people did to make do when certain items weren’t available anymore.
Ms. Gabhart does a wonderful job giving us the character that we love to hate. There’s a girl in town named Alice who seems to thrive on gossip and constantly mucks up things with her meaningless chatter. We all know somebody like that and can identify with the irritation that she causes others. It’s just a shame that Kate has to be nice to her because she is a customer at the general store.
It was rather frustrating to wait for Kate and Jay to finally get together. I spent the entire book wanting to push them together, mentally shouting, “Kiss already!” Though I don’t want to give anything away, the ending was a relief but not at all descriptive enough. I can only hope that Ms. Gabhart is planning another novel to give us more details.
I liked Small Town Girl, although I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read Angel Sister first. While this book is technically a stand-alone, a lot of the plot would be easier to follow if you’ve read the first book in the Rosey Corner series.
You can purchase Small Town Girl by Ann H. Gabhart from various book sellers in both paperback and ebook formats.
Available July 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.