I read Summer of Joy by Ann H Gabhart while recovering recently from foot surgery. It kept me company as the days filled with ice and elevation grew long and lonely. I felt myself becoming one with the staff of the Hollyhill Banner, a weekly paper for the folks in the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. David Brooke is pastor of the Mt. Pleasant Church and newspaper editor. His daughter Jocie helps out at the paper while sister Tabitha is single mother to Stephen Lee, a bi-racial baby boy.
Gossip and speculation abound in the story but as David Brooke teaches his daughters you just have to put things out there and eventually any talk that may come will fade away. He knows this to be true from experience when his first wife walked out one night when Jocie was little. Now, all these years later, David is ready to love again and marry Leigh, who is loved by both Jocie and Tabitha. Before this can happen though, we meet with some unexpected suspense in the story that will keep you turning pages!
Small town life in the south during 1964 seems like a idyllic setting and that is not the case with Summer of Joy. For that matter, some of the story is not joyful at all but like all life there is a story here to be shared.