My Rating: 2 Stars
Description: With her penchant for seeing the best in everyone, Hope Irvine sees a
world full of good people in hard places. When her father accepts a
position traveling in a chapel car as an on-the-rail missionary, she is
determined to join him in his efforts and put her musical skills to good
use by serving the mining families of West Virginia, saving their
souls, and bettering their lives.
Luke Hughes shares Hope's love
of music and her love of God, but as a poor miner he knows he can offer
her no future. Still, the notes she sings resonate in his heart. When
she begins to travel with a young mine manager to neighboring counties,
Luke can hardly suppress his jealousy. It isn't until he begins to
suspect these missions of mercy might be the mine manager's cover for
illegal purposes, though, that Luke feels justified in speaking up. But
how can he discover the truth without hurting Hope or, worse, putting
her in danger?
My Thoughts: This novel was fairly lack-luster. There's not much to the plot, it's more just things that happen in the characters lives. The first two chapters of the book are spent in a town other than Finch (where they spend the rest of the book), dealing with a conflict that has nothing to do with the rest of the story. While it did lead to the moment when Hope and Luke met, it was in no way necessary for them to meet that way.
Hope and Luke are both characters with very little personal conflict. Hope is a very nice person who wants to help everyone and Luke is the same, but neither one have any real personal issues to overcome. The only character I really cared for was Kirby, whose character was a bit tarnished, and clearly not the guy Hope was going to choose.
I might have still thought this book was all right if not for the writing. Within the first hundred pages, it was said at least five or six times that the miners didn't like outsiders and that included people claiming to be preachers. Then there were also the number of times it was said that only the women and children were ever happy to see Hope and her father (and that was because she bribed them with candy and thread). All of this was told rather than shown, which would have been a lot more interesting.
I have provided an honest review after having received a copy of this book from the publisher.