Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
It’s 1954 and Perla Long’s arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.
Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor…until he meets Perla. She’s everything he’s sought in a woman, but he can’t get past the sense that she’s hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla’s unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book. It was a new author to me, and Ms. Thomas tells a tale full of forgiveness. That is the best way to describe this book, it has a theme of forgiveness all through it. It is not just the main characters, but everyone learns that they have to forgive in some way or another in this book.
I found the history of the drought, the lack of food, water and how the town worked to pull together very unique, but the prejudices of the 1950’s something that somehow never really goes far away.
I was reminded today while reading the chapter in Hebrews of the heroes of the faith, and realized that almost every one of them had some major sins in their pasts. I was reminded of this again while reading this book, and realized that it is true that if we want to judge another, let those that are without sin first cast a stone. We all have shortcomings and sins. Some of them appear worse than others, and there are unrepentant ones (which was also discussed in this this book), but we all have them.
I felt like this unique book really drove a point home without pounding you over the head with it. The sweet, realistic romantic story of two people that learn to love and forgive themselves and each other during a dry season, was lovely to read and I savored every word.
This book was given to me for review by NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers. The thoughts contained herein are solely my own.