Bethany House is a Christian publisher with high standards, and Sarah Loudin Thomas elevates their mission. Sure, her characters say grace before their meals, but they are not your stereotypical religious fanatics. The clever and compelling dramatic situation that propels this novel is the coming together of Judd Markley, a West Virginia coal miner traumatized by a mine accident who seeks refuse in Myrtle Beach, and Larkin Heyward, the daughter of his new boss at a South Carolina logging operation. She feels a compulsion to be a do-gooder in the very mountains that Judd is escaping. Can the two transcend the gaping gulf of initial cultural misunderstanding? The author, Sarah Loudin Thomas, grew up on a seventh generation farm near French Creek in Upshur County, West Virginia, graduated from Coastal Carolina University, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina and works as a fundraiser for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain. She has published a novel with Bethany House every year since 2013.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 2017. 331 pages. Trade paperback