“After a couple of weeks, most folks got used to the idea that she had a strange knack and were grateful for the help. And then someone – no one was sure who first said it – suggested the food was a miracle,” Sarah Loudin Thomas writes about Perla in her novel, Miracle in a Dry Season.
This three hundred and four page paperback targets those who enjoy a romantic contemporary story with Christian overtones. With a couple of slang words, topics of having a child out of wedlock and alcoholism may not be apropos for immature readers.
In this fictional tale based in the nineteen-fifties in Wise, West Virginia, twenty-four year old Perla Long and her five year old daughter, Sadie, have come to live at her aunt and uncle’s house for a while.
With a small town that thrives on gossip and judging others, cruel rumors are spread like wildfire about the new resident who has no husband and a fatherless child. Even Casewell Phillips, a thirty-five year old carpenter who plays the mandolin, prejudges the woman’s past as he notices his attraction to her.
As the community deals with a lengthy drought that leaves many without sustenance, Perla prepares tasty meals, mysteriously turning little to always enough to feed the hungry. The local legalistic pastor and some townspeople find the sins of the single mother’s past are the cause of the curse upon their land.
While Casewell struggles with a long ago indiscretion, he, as well as others, must come to terms that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, including this newcomer. Though Perla has a deep love for her daughter, she feels she is not good enough to be forgiven or loved by another man.
Through the earth’s dryness, the death of a loved one, and regrets of the past, the villagers become more divided due to one woman who is either hated or loved in spite of having a special gift that is considered a miracle.
For her debut story, Thomas engages the reader with believable, fallible characters by reiterating that one should not judge another but offer acceptance and love. Not clearly explaining the entire story behind the child’s conception, there is plenty of room for a sequel.
Thanks to Bethany House for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.