As the debut novel that continues the story of young Perla from Appalachian Serenade, Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas shares a charming story in a simple style that draws us effortlessly into the life of Perla, niece of Delilah, as a young adult returning to Wise.
Thomas captures well the struggles of Perla and Casewell, as she share their differing perspectives throughout her story. What I really liked is how well she captured the nuances of living in a small community where everyone influences everyone.
When prolonged drought threatens the people in Wise, Perla’s special gift may sustain the town, but her past has polarized her neighbors. Casewell, the carpenter, was my favorite character. I loved to see his honest transformation as he faced his prejudices and then surmounted them.
I liked Perla, but felt that she offered a more troubled character. On the one hand, she viewed herself as unworthy of love because of her past choices, yet at the same time, her thoughts showed little regret for what she did. Her main regrets centered around how people treated her differently and harshly because of her choices. I would have liked Perla to have shown more inner reconciliation and Godly sorrow rather than self-pity. Yet, Thomas did drive home how we often judge people based on past choices rather than their present hearts.
Overall, I was touched by this debut novel and highly recommend it. I look forward to reading future books by Thomas. Bethany House sent me a complimentary book of Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas to review.