small town girl cover

Small Town Girl


How long can two people stand on the brink of love without plunging in headfirst?

In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates with apprehension, as if it is holding its breath. But for Kate Merritt, it seems life is letting out a prolonged sigh. As Kate watches her sister marry the man Kate has loved since she was fifteen, her heart is silently breaking. And even the attentions of Jay Tanner, the handsome best man, can’t draw her interest.

Then suddenly, Pearl Harbor changes everything and Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways. Could she truly be in love with him? And if he enlists, will she ever see him again?

In her gentle and textured style, Ann H. Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip your heart and stir your spirit. Fans of Gabhart’s Angel Sister will love seeing Kate Merritt all grown-up, as well as other characters they have come to love.

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ann gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as several other historical novels, including Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at


Reader review . . .

Kate thinks love may have passed her by as she watches her sister marry the man Kate has thought she loved since she was fifteen. She knows she doesn’t want to tie her life to the hometown boy who believes they are meant for one another, and wants to believe there is life outside Rosey Corner. The best man, Jay Tanner, feels the mutual attraction between them but is warned to stay away from her to avoid hurting her. He tries to leave town, as he never stays in one place, but the town and its inhabitants draw him in, and the couple find themselves drawn together. But the events of Pearl Harbor change everyone’s lives.

The real star of this novel is the town of Rosey Corner. The people and places are so well-drawn I could see them. The characters all center around the Merritt family. Little Lorena, abandoned and taken in by the family, Graham, the eccentric loner befriended by them, and Fern, his sister who appears sporadically and disappears into the shadows, all play a part in the relationship between Kate and Jay.

The World War II era is one of my favorite settings for historical fiction. The effects of the war on a small town in Kentucky is particularly interesting, as people who have had little or no contact with the world at large are suddenly affected by events on another continent. Admittedly, the story seemed to lag a bit in the middle of the book, but it was still a captivating story.

4.5 stars

Available July 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”