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Orchard of Hope by Ann H. Gabhart
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Interesting Read!

Orchard of Hope follows Scent of Lilacs with the continuing story of Jocie Brooke. I found this book a little hard to get into also. As the book gets deeper into the story line it really starts to pick up.

Jocie is finding out what life is all about. There are good and bad situations as well as good and evil people.

This story took me through some of the emotions I didn’t want to go through. I was angry at the unfairness and the tragic incident that took place toward the end. I will admit there were also tears. Tears of sadness as well as tears of happiness.

The joy of seeing God at work in several characters lives will bring the reader much peace and happiness knowing what forgiveness can do for situations that we face in life if we only trust and obey God.

I am looking forward to reading Summer of Joy to find out what is in store for Jocie and her family. ( )
  passionforbooks | Jun 26, 2014 |
This is the 2nd book in The Heart of Hollyhill series. It picks ups shortly after the first book, The Scent of Lilacs, left off.

It is the summer of 1964, and it's going to be an unforgettable one for Jocie, who will be turning 14 soon. Her father, a pastor and the owner of the towns weekly newspaper, has found a new love, her unmarried hippie sister is about to have her baby, and Aunt Love has softened and is easier to live with.

When a black family moves into the quiet hamlet of Holly County, Kentucky, tensions begin to arise among many of the people. Jocie and her family found themselves caught in the middle when her father hires the new boy in town to work at the newspaper, and Jocie befriends him. Jocie is also just starting high school when the Hollyhill schools are desegregating, and she finds herself shunned by her old friends when she tries to make friends with the new students. It will be a life changing summer not only for Jocie, but for the entire community.

I really enjoyed this engaging story. I recommend though, reading first book before this one, to have a deeper understanding of the main characters and the changes that they go through over the summer. ( )
  mom2acat | May 14, 2014 |
Title: Orchard of Hope (Hollyhill Series #2)
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Pages: 412
Year: 2013
Publisher: Revell
I was born in the spring of 1961. The following fall of the same year our nation was devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy. As I read Orchard of Hope, which is set in the south during the sixties in a small town called Hollyhill; historical events mentioned in story reminded me of other life events. Here in this small town the schools are being desegregated. The population of the area is small enough where most people have known each other for decades.
One colorful character, Miss Sally, though in the twilight years of her life, has never married and is witnessing how the Lord gave her the greatest desire of her heart. Then there is Brother David whose firstborn daughter is about to give birth and that makes David feel old even though he isn’t. I liked Leigh who is in her mid-thirties, never married, but has eyes for the one man in the whole town who makes her face turn the color of a rose when she sees him.
Outside the town limits an orchard of apple trees has been planted, but as the drought continues the concern for its output does as well. Perhaps on the night when a gang of bullies come to destroy the orchard and other places on the homestead, it is then that the whole town realizes evil is lurking right there to steal the joy. The first novel in the series is The Scent of Lilacs, which introduces to us the foundation of characters, plot and themes of the books. I have to commend Ann H. Gabhart for this particular story.
Being familiar with an author’s many writings never seems to dull the appreciation of hard work done with prayer, wrapped in love. The themes of prejudice and how the Body of Christ should be different, but looks and sometimes acts just like anybody else highlights the need for a change of heart for God’s people. The change of heart is what changes people and from there it flows out to the community and beyond. No way have I revealed everything in the book or shared all my thoughts about the story. All I can say is read the series, step back in time and be reminded of others who let God change them. They then go forth to point the way to be changed by the love of God.
My rating is 5 stars!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Mar 20, 2014 |
The second book in the Heart of Hollyhill is just as though provoking as the first one, The Scent of Lilacs. Ann has created a lovely community with all the elements that exist in any close knit community of my acquaintance. From the tolerant people to the narrow minded and every one inbetween this is what makes the world go 'round. How we accept them and their views, how we react is our own responsibility. I fell in love with Jocie, the girl in Scent of Lilacs whose prayers God answered. Although I believe that this book could stand alone, you will want to read the first book as well, as Anne writes a fantastic novel where she is never afraid to deal with the hard subjects in life. Unexpected friendships? Check. Forgiveness, yes. Promises of new beginnings? Yes again, against the back drop of recent segregation. It is a story that will never grow old, and that will become a classic. We need to remember and renew our memories of a time when hatred grew out of fear and love over came it all. Well written, with characters of dimension from Jupitarian Wes to Pastor David who is unconventional.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group". ( )
  mbarkman | Dec 10, 2013 |
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Orchard of Hope, the riveting sequel to The Scent of Lilacs, takes readers along to experience unexpected love, fear, forgiveness, new life, and a deeper understanding of the value of each individual's story.

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