An Appalachian Summer~ book review

An Appalachian Summer is a whet-your-appetite for more, kind of book! After reading this well written Christian historical fiction novel by Ann Gabhart, I wanted to learn more about the Frontier Nursing Service.
The protagonist is Piper Danson, the daughter of a wealthy father and mother. She is looking for something more in life besides socialite life, the latest fashions, and luxury. When her Aunt Truda hosts a tea for Mary Breckenridge, Piper’s viewpoint begins to change. Mrs. Breckenridge convinces Piper to join the Frontier Nursing Services as a courier, just for the summer, in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky. Piper becomes happily enmeshed with the organization, enjoying the challenging responsibilities, while trying to forget the two young men in her life who are courting her, one actively, one passively.
Mary Breckinridge, the granddaughter of U.S. Vice President John C. Breckinridge, went to school and college in Switzerland and Connecticut before getting her nursing degree from St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. She took graduate courses in midwifery in the United Kingdom, which enabled her to run the hospital she established in Kentucky.

Frontier Nursing Service uniform

I enjoyed reading the well-placed Scripture verses Mrs. Gabhart used throughout her book, and I hope with her next novel, she uses even more. Each verse brought a more in-depth meaning to whatever part of the story I happened to be at. The Word of God is a living book, and it always adds much depth and treasure to any Christian novel when used properly, which is was, in An Appalachian Summer.
I liked the descriptions of the treks through the mountains, it felt almost real. I enjoyed the relationship Piper had with her lifelong friend, Jamie, and her dilemma with Braxton Crandall.
The relationship and then romance between Piper and Jamie was so well written! The way they interacted with each other and how their friendship matured was admirably done. Good job, Ann Gabhart. Solid writing through the entire book. I do recommend this Christian historical fiction novel.

Romans 10:9-13- [9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
[11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
[12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
[13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Ann Gabhart’s website:

Her books have won several awards!

Book Review~ Troublesome Creek by Jan Watson

I liked everything about this book, even the cover!  I was impressed that this was Jan Watson’s first novel, since she doesn’t write like a novice.  Perhaps it’s her nurse’s training that helped.

This story is set around the 1800s in a coal town in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky.  I got a real feel for life there through Mrs. Watson’s well turned phrases and descriptive words.   This is a clean, Christian historical fiction novel, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a really good book to read.

I enjoyed learning about the simple life of a young girl named Copper, her fairly carefree life in the mountains of Kentucky, living with her dad and her stepmother.  The  author really knows how to pull you into the story, and identify easily with the characters.  I felt the warm summers, the bitter cold winters, I got anxious when one of the family got ill, was happy when good things happened, enjoyed hunting in the woods, and the story about Copper’s background was engrossing, I could not get enough of the rich details and even the heartbreak.  The good relationship she had with her dad was comforting, and the closeness of the family in general was very upbeat and encouraging.  Their Christian faith was solid and enduring.

This is the first of Jan Watson’s books, and I’m already reading the second of the series, called Willow Springs, which is a continuation of Copper’s journey through life, and the many changes and adjustments of new surroundings.

Product details

  • File Size: 20517 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 16, 2010)
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English