Friday, August 15, 2014

Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

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Miracle in a Dry Season is a beautifully unique novel brimming with Biblical truth and plenty of conflict. Set in West Virginia in 1954, this story starts by introducing us to Casewell, a righteous man with certain ideas about what his future wife will be like. He’s a believer in strict right and wrong and steers clear of controversy. When he meets Perla Long, a pretty woman new to town, and her daughter, his ideas are challenged.
First Lines:
"Caeswell's stomach grumbled. He hoped no one in the surrounding pews could hear it. He'd thought to eat some warmed-over biscuits this morning, but the barn cat had slipped into the house and found the bread wrapped in a dish-cloth on the back of the stove. Even though most of a biscuit remained, Casewell knew better than to eat after a cat."
Sarah Loudin Thomas's writing style is different from anything else I've read. She captures the feel of farm life in the 1950s perfectly. I became so caught up in the drought plot line that I considered it a blessing when my town got rain--talk about having trouble separating fiction from reality.
The beginning of the book drags the tiniest bit...but the storytelling is so rich, so authentic (not that I lived in 1954 West Virginia). Casewell isn't the typical hero--there aren't long descriptions of his appearance. Perla isn't your average heroine. But they meld together in a sweet way that'll keep you smiling. 
I loved that the book explores the relationship between Casewell and his father as well. Everything about this novel feels so...real.
The only unreal part for me was Perla's "gift". I didn't really get it, but that might just be me.
Ms. Thomas's next novel will be on my wish-list when it's released. You should give this story a try, for sure. You can buy it here.
There's a free novella you can read as well.   
From The Back Cover:
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 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 gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.
*I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Ooh! This book sounds interesting! The hero reminds me of my Jesse character. Quiet, non-confrontational, by-the-book kind of guy.

    I admit, I was a little iffy about whether Perla's "gift" would give this story a paranormal, or speculative turn. From the title, blurb and other descriptions I've read, it sounds like she's going to have something to do with miraculously bringing rain in a drought. I have no guarantee of that, so I guess I should read the book before I pass judgment. :)

    That being said, I think it's very tough to write literal miracles into a book and make them believable. I know our great God can do anything, but in fiction, you know a human author is contriving it, and, unless it's based on a true story, it just doesn't ring true. I'm still wanting to give this book a try, though. The setting and characters intrigue me. Thanks for the review!

    1. It is GOOD. And I didn't mean to be misleading about Perla's gift. (Spoiler: She doesn't cause rain.)
      You should read this one. I really think you'll like it! Have you read her free novella?