I’ve got so much going on nowadays that I’m not doing many book reviews, but when I read the synopsis for Along a Storied Trail, I had to make an exception.

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her mountain community during the Great Depression. Even the rough people—like ornery Perdita Sweet—have their charms. But can love bloom in such rocky soil?

It hit all my bullet points: historical fiction, Great Depression era, Kentucky, librarian, and romance. How could I resist?

I don’t normally pay much attention to book covers, but I’ve got to mention this one. Not only is it a beautiful scene with a fun font, but it has this wonderful texture. It feels like canvas or a nice watercolor paper. Just holding it makes me happy.

After holding the book for awhile and enjoying the feel, I opened it up. I wasn’t familiar with the author, Ann H. Gabhart, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve read enough of these type books to have a general idea, but I’m always hopeful for stories that jump off the pages and truly come to life. From the moment I read the first paragraph, I knew this was going to be one of those books.

Ann H. Gabhart has an incredible gift of storytelling. The language is so delightful. Several times I had to literally read aloud just so i could fully appreciate the beauty. Not only does she know how to put together words so that they bounce off the tongue, but she also captures period talk and mountain jargon, not an easy task.

Appalachian stories can be cliched, often depicting the mountain folks as ignorant. But Ann captures their charm and intellect. As a native Kentuckian, she writes what she knows, and transports her readers to her beloved world.

Along a Storied Trail passed my ultimate test for books. I got so caught up in the characters and their lives, I began thinking of them as real people, worrying for them, rejoicing with them, missing them when I finished reading the book. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Ann’s books to enjoy in the future!

along a storied trail 1

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