Summer of Joy by Ann H. Gabhart is the conclusion to The Heart of Hollyhill series set in the early 1960s in Hollyhill, Kentucky.
From the Publisher:
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.
When you reach the halfway point of a book and you still have no idea who the main character is and/or what the story is really about, there’s a problem. This was the case for me with Summer of Joy.
I’m pretty sure that seven different people took a turn being the narrator in this book, and even when I reached the end of the book, I wasn’t sure which narrator(s) the story was actually about. The book didn’t really have an easily identifiable (at least in my opinion) problem and solution – it was more of a day-in-and-day-out journaling from various characters about the events of their lives as they unfolded.
The author’s attempt to add a “flair of mystery” to the book was weak, in my opinion, and added little to the overall “plot” of the book.
I give Summer of Joy two stars.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Summer of Joy from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.