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Scent of Lilacs by Ann Gabhart

Oh, how I love Ann Gabhart. She has the gift to bring a story straight to your heart. This is a sweet southern story about the journey of a young girl coming to understand who she is. It's her journey. A journey that is wrapped with love, but holds an uncertainty. It's learning to trust in the Lord with those uncertainties that bring us closer to Him.

Hollyhill Kentucky is that quiet yet connected town that reminds me of Mayberry. Everything is so simple, but yet, hidden in that simplicity is such uncertainty. It seems trying to find peace when there is a whirlwind of secrets is quite the task, but as we see, everything is possible when we trust in the Lord.

Its 1964 and Ann takes us back in time to a different era. People didn't talk about what lies underneath their smile. It was easier to keep things hidden in hopes that no one found out and all would work out. But what happens when those secrets are uncovered? Lives can be shattered.

We meet Jocie Brooke. A sweet and unforgettable girl. I fell in love with her character. She has such beautiful qualities. The best part is that in watching her grow, I too was opened up in ways I didn't expect. I can tell you that we get to understand every single character in this book. Each one has a story. It is so awesome to pick up a book and get to know each character and have an understanding of how they are all woven together in a tapestry that brings us to the front porch of Hollyhill.

I giggled throughout this story. There too were tears. One of the best parts of this story was getting to know and understand Aunt Love. Oh, how her story stirred my heart. Yes, we see Jocie grow, but we meet her dad, family and friends. What I enjoyed most of all was the love I felt as I closed the last page. We don't always have all the answers in life. Things don't always go our way, but in reading this story we see what real love does. God's love that is. It takes away the hurts and it gives peace where things are uncertain.

It took a while to understand the title, "Scent of Lilacs", but wow, when you get to that part, watch out. Your going to wish you had tissues handy. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this book is. Ann Gabhart brings a blessing through her penned words from beginning to end in this wondrous story.

This book was a gift from Revell for my review.

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at


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