Small Town Girl (Rosey Corner)
by Ann H. Gabhart (Goodreads Author)In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can’t draw her interest.
Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything. Kate’s friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?
In her gentle and textured style, Ann Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip the heart and stir the spirit. Fans of Angel Sister will be thrilled to see Kate Merritt all grown up. New readers will find that Ann Gabhart weaves in Small Town Girl a beautiful story that will touch their hearts and win their loyalty.
My Review: 6/10
I put off reading this book for so long because I wasn't crazy about the cover or the title. And actually, now that I've read it (and enjoyed it) I like the title even less; Kate is not a "small town girl." She has small town roots and values, perhaps, but she wants to travel, to see the world, to go to a university and move away. Doesn't sound small-town to me.
I couldn't put this book down. Kate was very relatable. I got swept up in wanting to see her recover from a broken heart, and then things started to get interesting with Jay and then Pearl Harbor happened, so I just couldn't walk away.
It was interesting to see the generational difference between the dads that were in The World War with sons now dealing with the possibility of a second world war. The story was infused with historical tidbits (I didn't now that in the early 40's, Thankgiving wasn't a fixed holiday, nor that the timing was ultimately chosen to allow more time for shopping for Christmas) and Ms. Gabhart did a great job of giving me a feel for the attitudes, the values and the expectations of the people back then.
Jay was definitely likeable and I thought his spiritual struggles were realistic and understandable. I could easily sympathize with Mike, though, wishing I could just make it happen. I liked that part of his problem was that he didn't know if he could trust himself either.
Their relationship happened naturally and so did their problems. I loved the resolution- I even loved that no explanation was ever actually given about the misunderstanding- just a steadfast denial til the end.
The only complaint I really had was that, though I thought plenty was implied with the ending, I would have appreciated an epilogue. And then when searching for this book to write the review, I stumble on the fact that this is actually book 2 of 3 (so far). Yay, I've got a book about Lorena and a book about Victoria (I assume) to look forward to, and the latter will likely give me all the updates I desire.