Author: Ann H. Gabhart
About the Book: After the summer of 1964, life for Jocie Brooke will never be the same.
Life-changing events rarely happen in quiet Hollyhill, Kentucky, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for young Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once during the humid summer of 1964. though on the surface things are just fine, it seems like everyone in Jocie's life has something they're not saying, something they're hiding from her -- and from themselves. As Jocie digs into her family's past, she stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries. Will she find the answers everyone so desperatley needs? Or will her questions lead to truths better left hidden?
Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love.
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My Thoughts: I was raised in a small town in the midwest and could really relate to Jocie and the pace of Hollyhill. Even though the book is set in 1964, they have many of the same struggles that people have today. Jocie is so innocent when the story starts. Her two biggest prayers are that God will bring her a dog and will bring her sister Tabitha home.
Seven years earlier, when Jocie was only 5, her mother left in the night, taking Tabitha, her older sister, with her. They receive letters from Tabitha, usually asking for money so she can come home and visit, but she never does. Jocie prays everyday that Tabitha will come home, and she prays for a dog as well.
One day out in the woods, a dog finds Jocie. He follows her home and she is smitten. She names him Zebedee or Zeb for short and sees that God has answered her prayers. Since he answered the prayer about a dog, she surely believes He will bring Tabitha home. And sure enough, within a few days, after being away 7 years, Tabitha shows up on their front porch - no longer a young girl of 13, but now a young woman of 20.
Jocie has always been full of questions, but now she starts to question what she knows to be her family's history. As the truth starts to come out, will it make things better to know the answers, or should some secrets stay buried.
This book was originally published in 2005 and was rereleased with a new cover. I found it to be very engrossing and read it in one afternoon. It was a good lesson to me that even Christians can make mistakes, but we need to grow from every decision that we make, whether it be good or bad. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.
~I received a complimentary copy of The Scent of Lilacs from Revell Blog Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~
Publisher/Publication Date: Baker Publishing, March 2013