Saturday, June 6, 2020

Hey everyone!  Today I've got a review for my latest Revell Reads review -- What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles!  It's a new historical release, and I was super excited to have the opportunity to read it and review.  The blurb really caught my attention right off the bat, and the story did as well.  So...let's get to it!  

In the face of overwhelming obstacles, she'll need courage, grit, and a tender heart. 

Worie Dressar is seventeen years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves.  Worie's mother has been secretly feeding several of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain.  But when tragedy strikes, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.  

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers -- one greedy and the other a drunkard -- Worie must fight to save her home and the children now in her begrudging care.  Along the way, she discovers the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma's children.  

Cindy K. Sproles is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries.  An author, storyteller, and popular speaker, Cindy teaches at writers conferences across the country and directs the Asheville Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina.  Editor of and managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, Cindy has a BA in business and journalism and lives in the mountains of East Tennessee with her family.  

This book just came out June 2nd, so make sure to snag a copy soon!  You can do so HERE


I'm...conflicted about this book.  I was super excited to read it, but while I loved some elements about it, others were just a bit confusing -- and some issues felt unresolved.  

I've been thinking about it for almost a week since I finished reading my copy.  I've decided to give it a 4 star review -- maybe a 3.7 if we're talking fractions.  The story has some really solid themes about forgiveness, bravery, and family that I really enjoyed and support wholeheartedly.  I had a lot of fun reading it, and the first person point of view was surprising for historical fiction; not to mention that it's written in supposed Appalachian slang, which took a bit to get used to but brings a lot of endearment to the story as a whole.  The story itself is intriguing and quite a page-turner; when I started reading it, I only intended to read a few chapters and ended up 80 pages in right off the bat.  The short chapters really make you keep reading.  The characters were easy to like and empathize with, and it has a few pretty clever twists and turns that you might not pick up on originally.  Overall, I did enjoy reading it.  

However, the timeline felt a bit off--at one point, it's mentioned that a particular event happened a couple of months ago, and in my mind it felt like something that had happened a week ago or so.  And there were some general bits of information about one of her brothers, Calvin, that felt like they were planted as hints early on in the story, only to fall useless at the end, unresolved, which frustrated me a bit because all that perceived mystery build-up was swept away.  

Overall, if I had to answer the question, "would you re-read this?" I'd say yes.  It's one of those books that is lovably flawed, but has such solid themes and faith elements that you can overlook the flaws to enjoy the story.  

Do you plan on reading What Momma Left Behind?  What's your favorite historical novel?      

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