by Christa Parrish
After her mother's death and her father's abandonment, one-year-old Sarah Graham was left to be raised by her emotionally distant grandmother. As a child she turned to music for solace and even gained entrance to Julliard. But her potentially brilliant music career ended with an unplanned pregnancy and the stillborn birth of her child.
In an attempt to escape the past, Sarah, now twenty-seven, is living life hard and fast--and she is flat broke. When her estranged father dies, she travels to the tiny mountain hamlet of Jonah, New York, to claim her inheritance. Once there, she learns her father's will stipulates a six-month stay before she can receive the money. Fueled by hate and desperation, Sarah settles in for the bitter mountain winter, and as the weeks pass, she finds her life intertwining with the lives of the simple, gracious townsfolk. Can these strangers teach Sarah how to forgive and find peace?
This is Christa's debut novel and she started with a bang! It's fairly short, which makes for an enjoyable quick read. This is not typical Christian fiction. She takes us along side a very disturbed young woman who is bitter and resentful about her family's history. Sarah wasn't raised in a loving home and eventually started going down the wrong roads, making bad choices.
When her father dies and leaves her an inheritance she wants to quickly grab it and go. But there's a catch. She has to stay in that small, mountain town for six months first. Of course the tiny town does not have the night life and other amenities she is used to, but she's desperately broke and has no where else to go. The whole story is set during this six month time frame.
Christa does an excellent job of capturing Sarah's crude character without using crude language. Sarah is cold-hearted and doesn't apologize for who she is; doesn't care how she treats other people. She resists the townspeople and does not want to open herself up to them, but then she gradually finds herself starting to care. Not knowing how to handle this new emotion, Sarah does what she knows best. Lash out.
I enjoyed reading about Sarah and the truths she discovers about her father's past, but I also could relate to the townspeople who were trying to get to know her. When I'm faced with a calloused, hateful, mean person my first reaction is not to reach out to them. But this book shows that beneath the cactus thorns is a soft, tender side that bruises easily.