Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summer of Joy by Ann H. Gabhart

This is the 3rd installment in the Hollyhill series.   It continues to follow the story of Jocie Brooke and her family.  Jocie is now 14 and looking forward to finishing school and enjoying summer.  Everything is going great for everyone in the family...her Dad and his girlfriend Leigh are becoming closer, her sister is doing well and still living with them along with her adorable little baby.  They are all enjoying doting on him and the community seems to have accepted his chocolate colored skin in spite of last year's racist upheaval.  Everything is fine except for the turmoil that one of Jocie's teacher's is causing her.  He is new, stepping in for the regular English teacher on leave.  And according to Jocie, he is just plain mean and has it in for her.  But as the end of the school year approaches Jocie will have more on her plate to deal with than a frustrating teacher as a shocking appearance by the one person she never wanted to see happens and another stranger comes to town who could just ruin one of her most cherished relationships.

I enjoyed this wrap up to the coming of age story of Jocie Brooks and the people of Holyhill.  It was a satisfying ending to their storylines and their character arc and growth throughout the series was very interesting to me.  The author continued in the vein of good storytelling though there was one phrase that I thought was used way too much throughout the story and I found myself sighing everytime it was brought in.   I thought the author was very skillful in treating the storylines of a stalker, a teacher who was picking on a student, and small town community attitudes with the 1960's feel.  She really was able to convey the attitudes and approaches to those kinds of things from that era's viewpoint.  We would definitely not approach things that way today.  Though this was my least favorite of the 3 books it wrapped everything up nicely.

The other two books are reviewed here and here.

I gave this one an 8/10

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