Not quite grown up Lanie Freeman is still taking care of her siblings while her father sits his sentence in jail. Along to help her is feisty over ninety Aunt Keiza who's lived so long she knows everything. Lanie's siblings are starting to grow up and she's put to the test of trying to keep them in stride. Cody becomes a zealous Christian while Maeva keeps testing Lanie's limit by being a teenager. Meanwhile Louise Langley is jealous of Lanie while her brother is taking an interest in her. The town doctor seems to be vying for her attention as well even though he's engaged to Louse. A pregnant girl is taken in by the family because she has no where else to go. Then to top it off there's a new preacher in town, one who wears jeans and rides a motorcycle. Fairhope is shaken up with his arrival, changing the lives of everyone who lives in the town.
Since I'm an avid Gilbert Morris reader, I picked up this book. I guess because I'm such a fan I feel like I have to read every book written by him. That said, I did enjoy this book over the past few I've read of his. The characters in this story are very colorful and bring life to the story. I find the background characters to be more interesting especially the restaurant group scenes. There is lots of historical fact and research done for the book and I enjoy all mention of the food that is eaten. I do like how Colin is a non typical pastor and he does grab the reader's attention from his first appearance. However once again what I find most annoying (but new readers won't notice) is recycled plot use. Why are there always characters that insist on sitting in the front row at church? There will be plenty of rows throughout the church but these characters always march right up in front under the nose of the preacher. The girl being disguised as a guy gets really old too because she doesn't really try hard to disguise herself (cut your hair instead of hiding it under a hat).
I really didn't like Lanie's brother after he became a Christian. While I was happy to hear that he became saved, I really think he went overboard with trying to convert others. Why would someone tear up a Bible and give people random pages expecting them to become saved without telling them about it? This character seemed very judgmental and stereotypical of a Christian trying to convert everyone. One more thing that really bugged me was when Colin and Louise finally kiss, they both back away immediately and the first thing Colin says is "Well I guess I shouldn't have done that." That phrase has been used too many times in Morris's books and just doesn't sound realistic at all. I also won't lie, i skipped over Lanie's poetry. I feel bad but it didn't really interest me.
I did enjoy the book but mostly out of loyalty for being a Morris fan. If you like historical fiction, then I think you'd enjoy it. Otherwise I think some of his older works are much better.