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At Home in Persimmon Hollow (Persimmon…
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At Home in Persimmon Hollow (Persimmon Hollow Legacy)

by Gerri Bauer

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In 1886, Agnes Foster flees, St. Isidore’s Home, the only home she has ever known to find herself on a train bound for the frontier, Persimmon Hallow, Fl. At the behest of Miss Eunice and Fanny Alloway of Persimmon Hallow, Agnes is the new teacher. Agnes was raised by nuns in an orphanage, and has a solid faith in God and is a devoted Catholic. Florida is a world away from the city and Catholic orphanage, but the teaching of Mother Superior were ingrained in Agnes, especially, her advice that preachiness is not Godliness and to not offer advice when it is not sought. Mother Superiors advice Agnes is sorely tested when she meets Seth Taylor. Seth is the Uncle to young Billy, whom Agnes agreed to watch over on the train until they reached Persimmon Hallow.

There is mystery about Agnes flight from the orphanage leaving young orphan Polly, whom she deeply loves and wants to adopt. Agnes’ mystery is eventually revealed as it now concerns Polly. Seth has his own mystery; what happened to make this handsome man lose his faith, become aloof, lonely, and unfriendly to his fellow neighbors and church. I found this very intriguing. As the mystery surrounding Seth was revealed, Agnes finds herself attracted to him. As the mysteries were of Seth and Agnes are revealed, the extent of evil was surprising. The world is truly evil at times as Seth and Agnes discovered. Agnes has great faith in God; Seth avoids anything to do with God.

I think the author handles the religious aspect very well; I did not feel preached to but rather was feeling the faith of the character and the scripture from their point of view in the situation in the story. I watched the characters grow in their love of each other, for the community and achieve forgiveness for themselves and others.

The town of Persimmon Hallow is a very faith-based hard-working community that is very close. This small town sure has a lot going on; from Agnes and Seth’s mystery’s, shootings, fights, intrigue, engagements for propriety’s sake; the return of evil forces to Agnes and Seth, the plots just keep coming and coming. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I would recommend this book to any one.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing in return for an honest review. ( )
  vera_mallard | Aug 16, 2015 |
At Home in Persimmon Hollow by Gerri Bauer is a Christian romance novel. The book is set in Persimmon Hollow, Florida in 1886. Agnes Foster was raised in St. Isidore’s Home (for orphans) by nuns since she was left on their doorstep as a baby. Due to pressure from the patrons of the home (because of the incident with Rufus Smith), Agnes has accepted a teaching position at Persimmon Hollow Academy in Persimmon Hollow, Florida. She arrives in town with Billy Taylor (age 12). Agnes agreed to keep an eye on Billy when he boarded in Jacksonville (his aunt put him on the train). Billy is going to stay with his Uncle Seth Taylor.

Seth Taylor is waiting at the station for Billy to arrive. Seth is not the greatest welcoming committee (the death of his brother and sister-in-law as well as the railroad people trying to get his land through unscrupulous means). The Alloway’s and other townspeople are very happy to see Agnes. Agnes is to stay with Eunice and Fanny Alloway (they are her bosses at the Academy as well). Agnes is immediately drawn into life in Persimmon Hollow when there is a death in town. Everyone joins in to help with the funeral arrangements (building the coffin, digging the grave, gathering flowers, food).

Over time Seth starts to mellow as he spends more time with Agnes. Seth is drawn to Agnes and her positive outlook on life (her helpful nature and a scripture quote for every occasion). Seth starts rejoining life in town (he has mostly kept to himself for the last ten years). The only problem is Barrel and Lester Little. They are trying to get Seth to sell his land to the railroad and will do whatever it takes to get what they want.

Agnes’ trouble follows her to Persimmon Hollow. She has been trying to get away from Rufus Smith. Rufus Smith is a nasty man who owns a brothel. He is determined to get Agnes (using illegal methods). When he also tries to get Polly Todd (Agnes has raised her since she first came to the St. Isidore’s), Polly is sent to Persimmon Hollow. Unfortunately, Rufus tracks down Agnes and Polly. Rufus joins up with Lester Little and Barrel (nothing worse than three bad people joining together). The town will come together to help Seth, Agnes, and Polly.

At Home in Persimmon Hollow is a cute story, but it is very preachy. I enjoy reading Christian fiction, but when a book contains more scripture than story, it is too much. There are some good characters in the story and a nice setting. I just thought that Agnes came across as very pious. Hearing the descriptions of the orange groves reminded me of when I first came to Florida. We lived in Lakeland at the time and there were miles of citrus groves (our first home in Lakeland was built in a citrus grove). I give At Home in Persimmon Hollow 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of At Home in Persimmon Hollow from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jul 22, 2015 |
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At Home in Persimmon Hollow is the first book in a series chronicling the world of Agnes Foster and the people of frontier-era Florida. In 1886, Agnes Foster is forced to leave the Catholic orphanage in New York where she grew up to start a new life as a teacher in Persimmon Hollow, Florida, a town she has only ever seen in a newspaper ad. With nothing but her strong Catholic faith to sustain her, she leaves behind the only home she's ever known and the little girl she hopes to adopt, and encounters a wild and beautiful new landscape, and a town full of hardworking, faith-filled people. She also meets the difficult, yet handsome and hard-to-ignore Seth Taylor, a man whose heart has been hardened to God after a terrible loss. Just as Agnes starts to feel Persimmon Hollow could be a good home for her and her daughter, and that Seth could be her love, tragedy strikes in the form of a trio of evil men from both their pasts, intent on doing them more harm. Will their fragile new love survive? Will Seth return to his faith? Can Agnes finally escape her dark past and find a bright new future?… (more)

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