Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2022
Hope blooms at Meadowland
If any place on God's earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law's Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past--the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls' experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, past troubles become rich soil in which faith can grow.
Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother's widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again.
But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
This story takes place in 1925 but is slightly different from other stories I have read in that time. Instead of focusing on flappers and other familiar events of the roaring twenties, we go out to the country. And that is where a makeshift family will need to heal and become a true family.
Rose lost her husband to the influenza of 1918, and now she is dealing with tuberculosis. She has been living at a sanitorium for two years, while her daughters, Calla and Sienna, have had to live at an orphanage home. All three are prisoners of sorts, unable to break free until they contact Dirk Meadows, Rose's brother-in-law, to help them.
Dirk is a scarred, closed-up man who has been longing for his lost love. He decided to live a secluded life until his late brother's family reached out to him for help. Now he has a choice. Will he let the past go and embrace the future, or will he let the past continue to haunt him?
I liked the growth of this family. None of them had it easy. Rose's health was fragile, and Dirk's heart was broken. Some secrets needed to be revealed before anyone could move on, and these revelations gave them pause to consider the future.
This was a sweet story of overcoming and embracing what you have that is right before you. I liked reading a different side of the 1920s. A little bit more romance would have made this an even better read.
I received a copy of this novel from Revell Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Joy Hannabass
Rose and Dirk. Rose desperately needs Dirk's help, that he will let her and her girls stay at the farm. Dirk's pain and rejection are so deep that he will not open his heart to love again. What in the world was he thinking, letting his late brother's wife and their girls stay with him.
After the death of her husband, Rose has been trying to work, making enough hats to sell to keep food on the table and her rent paid. That is until she comes down with a serious illness, tuberculosis, which causes her to decide to put her girls in an orphanage while she heals in a sanatorium. But Rose didn't expect it to be years. It's time to reach out to the brother-in-law she has only met once, right after she and Frank were married. The Meadowland Farm would be just the place for Rose to heal and her girls to flourish. Ann H. Gabhart writes such a phenomenal story in When the Meadow Blooms. Don't miss it!
I love, love this story. As I read the first part of this book (Frank's attitude and death, Rose in the sanatorium, the horrible treatment of the girls at the orphanage), my heart broke for this family. Especially the children. I certainly hope this doesn't happen in orphanages today.
I really like Dirk. He is such a good guy. My heart melted when the girls so freely showed their love for Dirk. But things were not always heart-melting in this story. Many heart-wrenching moments made the book difficult to read at times. This book has a lot of hurts and healing, forgiveness and second chances, along with the love that so strongly shows at just the right moment. As always with Ann H. Gabhart, the Christian life is woven into the lives of some of the characters throughout the book.
If you enjoy a good clean historical book to read, you can't go wrong with, When the Meadow Blooms By Ann H. Gabhart. You will not be disappointed!
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
From the beautiful cover to the last page when the characters sing the doxology When the Meadow Blooms is a grand story that encompasses many emotions.
Hardship and sorrow seem to follow Rose and her daughters, Calla and Sienna, as Rose battles TB and the girls endure time in an orphanage. The past haunts Dirk Meadows when he cannot get over the grief of losing family members and his first, young love. In addition, he was badly burned in a barn fire. But when Rose, the girls, and Dirk meet again, healing and hope slowly take over. God comforts Rose through the words of Romans 8. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor power, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God." This is one of my favorite verses, and I am glad Ms. Gabhart chose it to illustrate Rose's faith.
I like that the meadow on the farm played a part in the book. It was a favorite place for young Sienna, who loved nature and animals. It was something she looked forward to when she was waiting in the orphanage. It personified hope and new birth. A family Bible, likewise, was instrumental in bringing lost souls home.
Reading a book by Ann Gabhart is like sitting with an old and trusted friend and sharing comforting words of faith.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
This story is mainly about two brothers and their family life. Rose Meadows was married to Frank. They had two daughters, Calla and Sienna. Frank loved his wife and girls but was always looking for more. He could not hold on to his earnings and had a gambling problem. He decided to go into the army, looking for excitement. Unfortunately, he did not come home.
Because of unsanitary living conditions, Rose contracted tuberculosis. She could not continue to take care of her daughters, and they were taken to an orphanage. These girls were not treated well at this home for girls.
The other brother, Dirk Meadows, was in love with Anneliese Rainsley, and they were to be married. The only thing holding up this happening was that the Rainsleys and the Meadows did not get along. Bad feelings between the two families happened years ago. Anneliese disappeared, and Dirk could never get over this huge disappointment. Dirk lived alone and felt sorry for himself.
Rose sensed that her daughters were in danger, and she reluctantly wrote a letter to Dirk to ask for funds to help her move her daughters out of the orphanage when she recovered from TB. At the same time, things were getting worse for the girls at the orphanage, and Calla found out where her Uncle Dirk lived, and she also wrote a letter to him.
When Dirk received both these letters, he had to make a big decision to give up his reclusiveness and help Rose and his nieces. This was a big step for Dirk to make.
I loved how the author brought in the book's title throughout the storyline. Ann Gabhart is a wonderful lover of nature, and this book is so full of beauty. I would love to see the meadow in full bloom because of her creative expression of it.
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Nancy J. Brown
This is a deeply moving story of four people who have been traumatized and how the Lord moves in special ways to bring them all together. Damages that might permanently scar them, they find their way out of the sadness, the grief, the hurt and into the healing light, the fresh air, and nature, and gradually learn to heal. The hopefulness and buoyancy of the children, the strength of the mother, and the deep love and protectiveness of the uncle all shine together in one big beautiful light.
The characters have so much depth. Their stories are so adroitly woven together that you will find yourself yearning to know what happens next. It's amazing how much insight Ann Gabhart has into the intricacies of the mind and heart. I praise God that she uses the talents God gave her to write such a wholesome and therapeutic story. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for high-quality Christian fiction.
Thanks, Ann, for writing this book. I look forward to your next gem from the jewelry box of your keyboard.
A review copy was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Carolyn Bryant
Set in 1925 Kentucky, this beautiful story touched my heart and stirred my soul. It grabbed me from the first line and stayed in my thoughts long after reading the last page!
This read features the Meadows family—Rose, a widowed mother with tuberculosis who has been confined in a sanitarium for two years. Calla and Sienna, Rose’s daughters, must endure the cruelties of an orphanage as they wait to be reunited with their mother. And Dirk, Rose’s reclusive brother-in-law, struggles with physical and emotional scars from a haunting past. Their journey to healing and restoration is a poignant one.
Through Ms. Gabhart’s masterful storytelling skill and detailed descriptions, I could “feel” the story as I was reading. With a skillfully crafted plot, totally engaging characters, vividly sketched settings, inspiring spiritual truths, and a bit of sweet romance, this book brought tears and cheers and earned a spot on my Best Reads of the Year list. I highly recommend it.
This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest review.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
This is an amazing book centering on the lives, losses, and love of Rose, her two daughters, and her bother-in-law Dirk. Written from different perspectives, it paints a picture of life in the 1920s, moving you through despair, heartache, hope, and joy.
Rose had to leave her daughters in an orphanage while being treated for tuberculosis. She longs to be with her girls but isn’t sure of a solution to her problems. Perhaps it’s time for prayer.
Calla and Sienna aren’t happy at the orphanage. The rules are strict and punishment swift. Calla will be fifteen and worries about what will happen if she’s forced to move out and leave her sister behind. Perhaps it’s time for prayer.
Bound by their faith, both Rose and Calla see a solution in Dirk and unwittingly write him letters that arrive on the same day. After being severely burned in a fire and losing his first love, Dirk has put aside his faith and isolated himself from ever being hurt again. When the letters arrive, something compels him to respond. Is it possible God’s hand is involved in bringing this family together to find healing and a brighter future?
I loved everything about this book and highly recommend it.
I received a copy through NetGalley courtesy of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This is my honest review.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
When the Meadow Blooms by Ann H. Gabhart is an engaging tale of heartache, first loves, and spiritual lessons that leave the reader entertained and educated.
Rose Meadows and her daughters have been separated for two years because Rose is recovering in a sanitarium from tuberculosis. Her daughters have been sent to an orphanage to await the day when their mother comes to get them. They are not treated well at the orphanage. Calla (the eldest) is determined to be as amicable as possible. Her sister, Sienna, is a bright spirit whose inquisitive nature and imagination often get her in trouble. Calla is desperate to find a better solution, and so she writes to her Uncle Dirk Meadows to rescue them. And that is what he does.
So many things happen in this novel that you will be hard-pressed to put it down. Each chapter holds something new. Dirk's story is particularly poignant as he is a character that is scarred both inside and out. I loved how Sienna was instrumental in his change and how Rose was faithful in showing him God's love.
I found this book particularly moving because my mother had TB and spent two years in a sanitarium. So this really resonated with me.
If you enjoy inspirational fiction, you will love this book!
Thank you to Revell and NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.
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