My mom is a strong woman. I am the oldest of her five children, born to her when she was barely 18 years old. She had been working during her senior year of high school when she met my father while waitressing. They put the horse before the cart, getting married after I was already on the way. After one more child and three years of marriage they separated. These days it’s pretty common for children to be raised by single parents, but it was less common in 1978. I am grateful that though abortion was suggested to my young mother, she chose to give me life.
Like my mother, Perla Long, had to make a similar choice. She found herself with a child before she was married. Fleeing from hometown scrutiny, Perla Long escapes to the town of Wise, WV. The year is 1952 when Perla and her 5 year old daughter come to live with her Aunt Delilah and Uncle Robert. Her appearance with a child but without a husband stirs up the town gossip like dust on a dirt road.
Casewell Phillips and his family are introduced to Perla one Sunday after church. Casewell takes an instant liking to little Sadie and cannot help but be charmed by her mother. However, small town rumors don’t take long to prick his ears and Casewell becomes reluctant to associate with Perla. When Wise finds itself in an extended drought the residents decide to pool their meager food supplies. Perla has been blessed with an uncanny gift with food and is quickly placed in charge of the community kitchen. At the same time, the local church prays and attempts to discern the source of Gods harsh judgement. It doesn’t take the residents long to bring down their wrath on their new visitor.
Miracle in a Dry Season is a tender story about the healing that comes through forgiveness. Both forgiving others and forgiving one’s self. Flush with scripture, the novel stays true to God’s design for repentance and restoration.
The book’s characters are heartwarming and genuine representations of times past, but their battles are the same that we fight today – lips that spread gossip, unrepentant hearts, and religious self-righteousness. Thomas gives her readers an intimate look into their motives and self-doubts. You will laugh! You may pause to examine yourself and you may even shed a tear.
In this, her debut novel, Sarah Loudin Thomas leaves me anxiously awaiting her next work. Miracle in a Dry Season – Releases August 5, 2014 – Bethany House.
I give special thanks to Bethany House for providing me with my first Advance Reading Copy EVER!!
About the Author:
Sarah Loudin Thomas currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home. She holds a bachelor’s in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, NC with their dog Thistle. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and reading.