cover image The Song of Sourwood Mountain

The Song of Sourwood Mountain

Ann H. Gabhart. Revell, $17.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8007-4173-0

The Appalachian mountains provide an atmospheric backdrop for this textured early 20th-century historical romance from Gabhart (In the Shadow of the River). Mira Dean’s childhood sweetheart died of tuberculosis five years before the start of the novel, taking with him her dreams of motherhood. Since then, she’s accepted a bland though comfortable life as a schoolteacher in Louisville, Ky. When missionary Gordon Covington, a former classmate of Mira’s, asks her to marry him and teach the children of the small Appalachian community of Sourwood, she rejects the offer—but changes her mind a few weeks later, after she loses her job and apartment in quick succession. The two marry and Mira soon becomes enamored with her new students, especially 10-year-old orphan Ada June. As Mira’s desire to be a mother resurfaces, she questions whether she’ll be able to have children, and whether her marriage of convenience will ever transform into one of real love. Gabhart sensitively portrays both the challenges of mountain life—poverty, harsh weather, disease—and the heart and warmth of this hardscrabble community. The slow-burn romance between Mira and Gordon adds just the right amount of sweetness. Gabhart’s fans will swoon. (May)