*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All thoughts below are my own. Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.
This sweet novel opens the door to life in the heart of Appalachia during the early twentieth century. With endearing characters and a storyline so heartwarming, it’s a must-love story from start to finish!
A British Missionary Meets a Chilly Welcome in a Remote Appalachian Community
Laurel McAdams is well acquainted with trouble, but her dreams keep her hopeful that life can improve on her mountain in the Blue Ridge. Still, trouble does come in the form of an outsider.
Having failed his Bristish father again, Jonathan Taylor joins his uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination.
Faced with parents angry over his teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?
Journey into North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where a young woman’s dreams are held captive by rugged landscape and long held traditions. - Synopsis from My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream
★★★★ || With a tender love story reminiscent of Catherine Marshall’s Christy, Pepper Basham shares a delightful tale of a young, British man who comes to the heart of the Appalachian mountains in 1918 at the behest of his uncle to teach at a mission school. There he meets Laurel, a young woman who’s colorful and upbeat outlook on her life in the mountains when it’s at its best, or its hardest, has him falling for the mountains, and her.
Having lived in the Appalachian mountains myself, I can attest to the tugging the beautiful mountain scenery and countryside can place on one’s heart. I found this sweet novel to be both familiar and endearing. Author Pepper Basham weaves in colorful mountain phrases, wit, humor and country charm while depicting what I believe to be an accurate look at life in the mountains around the early twentieth century. The characters are likable, while the story line moves along with both the highs and lows of life in a remote area. There are strong elements of faith woven throughout the story and a beautiful underlying message of God’s never-ending love for His children and the acceptance He gives regardless of our shortcomings.
In my opinion, this historical fiction novel is the perfect cozy, light read for perhaps a winter afternoon under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa.. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream is a wholesome read for teenagers and will charm adult readers as well.
Lastly, pick up your own copy of My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream or borrow it from your local library. You can find more of the My Heart Belongs books on Amazon. Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!