The characters will steal your heart away: "Summer of Joy" by Ann H. Gabhart

Cover Art

about the book....

As summer draws to a close Jocie's world seems serene--but is it just the calm before a storm?
Unbeknownst to Jocie Brooke and her family, two people are making their way to the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. One everyone thought was gone for good and the other no one's ever heard of. Still, one thing is sure--they promise trouble. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy strong relationships that everyone has simply taken for granted.

The summer of 1964 may be winding down, but the controversy in this little community where nothing ever seems to change is just heating up.

Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you to Hollyhill for a story both exciting and enduring that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. 

my review....

The lovable Jocie Brooke and her quirky cast of family and friends return for a final time in the heartwarming third book of the Heart of Hollyhill series, "Summer of Joy". The book starts off at a bit of a slow burn, easing readers back into Jocie's world and the ups and downs of her life. But while at first the book seemed set at a slower pace than the first two in the series, I soon became wrapped up again in the drama of the character's lives. I really enjoyed watching Jocie mature over the course of the book and the whole series as she deepens her understanding of who God is and what her place in the world will be. Though her actions are occasionally misguided, her heart is in the right place. So as "Summer of Joy" progressed, I felt quite the righteous indignation when she began being bullied by her teacher no less! Her heart of forgiveness is inspiring to see, both for her teacher and later her mother, and I was reminded how children can so often set the example for those in the older generations! The flourishing romance between Jocie's dad and with Leigh provides for many lighthearted but also tender moments, and I am certain readers will be pleased with the eventual outcome. This third novel throws a bit of mystery and suspense into the mix, and I really liked how Gabhart handled those scenes as well, with a building sense of unease that permeates the pages. All in all, this final book brought everything full circle, yet left me longing for more of Jocie's story. Will there perhaps be another novel? Maybe. Or perhaps we will be left to imagine who Jocie grows up to be and what the future holds for her and her family.

This book and indeed the whole series will remain on my heart long after they have been placed on their permanent place on my shelves. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at