Cover Image: An Appalachian Summer

An Appalachian Summer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a lovely book. The Appalachian setting just might be the star of the.novel. Gabhart's descriptions of the flora and fauna and the people made me want to head to Appalachia to listen to birds and cross swinging bridges. The frontier nursing program was so interesting and I loved being able to get a glimpse of what that entailed. With, Although lacking any big problems or tension, the sweet romances made it a gentle and enjoyable story.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I have loved every book I have ever read by this author and this one did not disappoint.  In fact this was one of my all time favorites.  It was so interesting to read about the young women who went to the Appalachian mountains to become midwives and others spent their summers helping as Frontier Nursing couriers.  Piper was from a rich family but knew that she was missing something so she volunteered as a courier.  Here she learns that money is not everything.  This was very inspirational.  I could not put this down.  I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Was this review helpful?
I was so happy to revisit Mary Breckenridge's Wendover and the Frontier Nursing Service. This time we meet Piper Danson who volunteers to serve as a courier with the FNS for one very special summer. We once again get to experience the strong mountain people of Kentucky as Piper adapts to their ways.  Piper's hopes for the summer were to do something different, something important, to experience life, but mostly to forget about men and her father's expectations. How surprised she was when not one, but two men follow her to the mountains of eastern Kentucky! 

Ann H. Gabhart is a master storyteller. Her characters have depth and feel like real folks, like someone you might know. Gabhart draws you into the setting without lots of flowery words of description, something I really appreciate. I highly recommend An Appalachian Summer, and am grateful to have received a copy from Revell via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.
Was this review helpful?
Mrs. Gabhart once again brings us a delightful read about  1930's Kentucky.  
I have enjoyed reading her books and this one is no exception!  
This is a subject that I feel this author has done well with and her research is spot on! 
I've found myself looking up Mrs. Breckenridge and I"m thoroughly intrigued by her and how she started everything. She's a fascinating woman that's for sure!
I love her saying that can't is not a word in her book. I think it was wonderful how she stood by it. By saying can't isn't going to get anything done. 
I feel like if it's meant to be then God will make it happen no matter where, when, and who you are.  I like how He's always watching out for us. I know He has me. All the time. 
Kentucky is full of rich history and I really liked the story telling of the mountain folks.  They can teach future generations to keep the old ways. I think in some ways we'd be better of if the old ways were still around. 
I will say this, the horses in this story made my day.  They are my favorite animals and the way Gabhart has written I felt  like I was riding with the nurses to their destinations to help the people that live in the mountains of Kentucky. 
I snickered in some places of this book and I really and truly loved this read! It took me back to my home even if only for a little while.  
I love learning and reading more the nurses  of the  Appalachian mountains and their whole reason for being there. 
Truda is my favorite character in the whole book. Her whole outlook on life is amazing! She keeps on doing what needs to be done and I like that her positive attitude rubs off on everyone that she meets including her niece Piper. 
Garbhart weaves in some wonderful faith filled messages that aren't a mile long and brings her point across without being too preachy. It's my favorite thing about reading these books.  
I am looking forward to Gabhart's next book with anticipation because she's an awesome story teller herself. 
I highly recommend this book. It will leave your heart filled with satisfaction from an incredible read.
My thanks to Netgalley and Revell for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is a Historical fiction/Romance. This book took place in 1933 during the Great Depression. The main character Piper has to make a big decision in this book to either make her father happy or follow her heart. She decides volunteers as a frontier nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains, so she will have time to think it out. I really loved this book, and I loved the characters. I felt the characters and the animals in this book pulled me right into the story. This book was so well written. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Fleming H. Revell Company) or author (Ann H. Gabhart) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review , and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
Was this review helpful?
This book was simply delightful.  At the cusp of her life and not knowing which direction to go in life, she hears the words "do something" and hears Mrs. Breckinridge tell the experiences of the Frontier Nursing couriers in the Appalachian Mountains.  Without much hesitation, Piper Danson hears the call, although not the life or direction expected of her by her parents.

She leaves behind a chance of courtship and an old flame to help the nurse midwives in the mountains.

I loved this book and I want to read others set in this same time frame and beautiful setting.  There wasn't a dull moment in this book, which was well paced and totally engaging.  It was so well written and adventures were exciting and you could see the growth in Piper over her time there.  I can say only the best compliments to the author.  It was simply excellent!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  All thoughts are my own.
Was this review helpful?
An Appalachian Summer is a book that checks several boxes on my reading wish list.  I love stories of the Appalachian mountains because I live in the foothills and find the history of this area fascinating.  I love the stories of the people who cared for the mountain folk.  Historical fiction is becoming a new passion for me and I love this story.  It took me back in my mind to thise days.  I love the writing style and the characters are well developed and interesting.  This is a winner in my book!
Was this review helpful?
Piper Danson wants to do more with her life than be a debutante or a wife to the wealthy man her parents have picked out, so she joins the Frontier Nursing couriers. She spends her days riding the trails up and down the Appalachian mountains on horseback to serve the determined people that make the mountains their home.

Piper gets to see a whole other kind of living, working with the mountain people, enduring long days, and finding her path. Piper is willing to work and willing to learn. 

I loved the premise of this book and the Frontier Nursing couriers. Through the experience Piper got to befriend many people that she never would have normally encountered in her old life, and I love how supportive her aunt was, as well as her mother. 

Jamie is a very outgoing man, willing to pitch in wherever needed, naturally befriending people in every situation. He is a honorable man, with a good work ethic and respect for others. He was probably one of my favorite characters, along with Aunt Truda.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable read, and probably my favorite from this author so far! This is a wonderful, engaging tale, I loved the setting of the breath-taking Appalachian mountains. Piper is an admirable young woman who comes into her own, growing in her sense of self and her faith, I loved that she took a chance and didn't pick the easier predictable path. There were also so many wonderful characters, and great side threads, that brought this beautiful book to life. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
An Appalachian Summer by talented wordsmith Ann Gabhart was another spellbinding tale.  I opened the novel and stepped into 1933 Louisville, Kentucky.  I was so excited because I live just across the river from Louisville.  This Christian historical romance is a true delight which I devoured at once.

From page one I was ensconced in a new time and place where I immediately found friends.  This is the story of Piper Danson.  She has just made her debut and now her father has a marriage opportunity for her.  Piper is feisty, a bit headstrong, and has other plans.  Her childhood friend Jamie Russell has carried a torch for Piper for years.  Unlike her high society family, his family lost everything in the stock market crash. Now Piper’s father no longer considers Jamie a worthy suitor for his daughter.

Piper decides to spend the summer as a Courier for the Frontier Nurses in Appalachia and off she goes on a train, The real story begins then.  It is rich with history, folklore, mountain culture, and inspiration.  The life and spiritual messages the author includes in this book are timeless as well as priceless.

I love Gabhart’s smooth style of writing.  She not only tells me a story but draws me into it.  I became so invested that I wanted to talk to the characters.  Even with the snakes, steep trails, and scary mountain men, I wanted to be a Frontier Nurse or Courier.  There are so many secondary characters that are simply extraordinary and deserve their own stories.  

I highly recommend this to everyone.  It was a blessing to me.  If this series does not get made into a television series or movie, it will be quite the shame.  There is so much education, inspiration, and entertainment in this book.  It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley, Revell Publishing and Ann H. Gabhart for my copy of An Appalachian Summer.

Louisville 1933, Piper Danson’s parents organize a debutante party for her, she’s twenty and her parents want the best for her and are keen for her to marry well. Piper has her doubts, she doesn’t want to rush into marriage, she has only just finished her studies, she isn’t ready to settle down and start a family. Piper hears Mary Breckinridge talk about her work in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky; she needs girls who can ride horses to volunteer over summer as couriers to support her frontier nursing service. Girls are expected to look after the horses, feed and water them and muck out the stalls. They travel through the rugged mountains, ford streams, delivering supplies and help the midwives safely deliver babies, Piper wants to have one summer of freedom, find her place in the world and her Aunt Truda encourages her to do it.
Piper loves the mountains, yes it’s remote and she sees the natural beauty in her surroundings, even the stars in the night sky seem bigger and brighter. The mountain people have their superstitions, different ways and are wary of strangers and people from the government. She makes friends with her fellow couriers, midwives, patients and their families. She does miss her best friend Jamie Russell whose family lost all their money in the financial crash, he also finds his way to the mountains and he’s writing stories for a newspaper and people want to read something up lifting during the depression.
An Appalachian Summer is a book about hope, a young woman finding her path in life, rediscovering her faith and finding love. I enjoyed the story, four stars from me and Ann H. Gabhart never disappoints and I highly recommend her new book.
Was this review helpful?
An Appalachian Summer is a lovely historical story set in the 1930s. The characters are charming and the plot is captivating. I can’t wait for more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
A look back at a difficult time in our history, people are still reeling from  the stock market crash that devastated the country. The author gives us both the ones who were able to hold on to their wealth and others who fell and lost everything including family members.
We are given a young woman, Piper, her family has kept their fortune and she has just had her debutant, a few years later than most, she has graduated from college.
We also meet a young man, whose family were not a fortunate and fighting back for survival.  He also has graduated from college and trying to find his way, knowing that above all he loves Piper.
Now this is the second book set here in the Appalachian Mountains, and we are again with the Frontier Nurses and catching babies. 
Come and get lost in these mountains, meet some delightful children, they tell it like it is, and those that will give what little they have.
We get to enjoy Piper as she embraces this very different life, and wonder what path she will further journey on!
I received this book through the Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really enjoyable historical fiction book. I normally don't read books set in this time period, much less set in the Appalachian Mountains. It was an easy read and it was lovely to read. It really took you back to that time.
Was this review helpful?
An Appalachian Summer by Ann Gabhart is the first novel I have read by this author. I’m always thrilled when I find a (new for me) talented author who writes an engaging historical fiction. This book focuses on the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains during Depression-era America with minor romance and faith threads. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the story with her vivid description and well-developed and lovable characters. I would have liked more conflict or tension and the storyline is apparent from the first few chapters. The heroine is a strong, independent woman who defies her father’s plans for her future and pursues the desires of her heart.  
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley. This review is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Another lovely heartfelt book by Ann Gabhart. This one takes place in 1933 in Kentucky. Piper Danson has just debuted in Louisville. Her best friend and the love of her life was ruined by the stock market crash and her father wishes to make an advantageous match for her. After attending a fundraiser tea hosted by her aunt, Piper yearns to do something meaningful and signs up to assist the frontier nurses in the Appalachian country in Kentucky. This is disappointing to Piper's dad and the man he attempts to match her with, but with the help of her mother and aunt, Piper convinces him to allow her to go. Ms. Gabhart's lyrical prose described the beauty of the mountains, the flora and fauna, the sounds of the birdsong, and the simple joy of the mountain folk so beautifully. It was fun to see the well-to-do girls, like Piper learn how to do things like fix dinner, paint a porch column and milk a cow. I loved how the mountain folk accepted the nurses and their couriers simply because they were "Mrs. Breckenridge's girls". I enjoyed seeing Piper's character grow as she learned what she was capable of, sought to know God better, and learned more about life beyond her comfort zone. I really liked the no-nonsense character of Mrs. Breckenridge - who loved the mountains so much to begin the midwife ministry in them, but expected those around her to do as she said when she said it. This book had a great cast of chracters, including wonderful side characters as well. While I would consider this to be mostly a character-driven book, it's also a historical novel with a sweet romance. I enjoyed all aspects of this story and heartily give it 4.5 stars.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Revell Publishers for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
Was this review helpful?
An Appalachian Summer is an atmospheric novel about the frontier nurses of the Appalachian Mountains, women couriers, and life and love in the in 1930s. With romance aplenty, adventure and lighthearted moments, An Appalachian Summer is a light and easy book to enjoy.

Piper is grateful her family has weathered the crash of the economy so well, even if it means she must go ahead with her Debut Ball. Being pressured by her father to accept an engagement to Braxton Crandall and heartbroken over the silence she is receiving from her best friend and keeper of her heart Jamie Russel, Piper seizes upon the opportunity to join the frontier nursing courier service in the Appalachian Mountains. From the journey there, to the surprises in store for her, it is all a great adventure. She just wants to forget men and romance for a summer, which is fine until a mystery man from her aunt’s past re-emerges, Jamie follows her all the way to the mountains and she must decide where her heart and future will lay. 

Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, this is a novel that mixes the past with more modern ideas of women’s liberation and a changing society. I sometimes forgot the time setting and had to do a double take at some of the more casual language and use of jeans and such.

I absolutely adored These Healing Hills by Ann H Gabhart, which is also set in the Appalachian Mountains. And while I liked An Appalachian Summer, it just didn’t grab me in the same way. I loved the scenery and the adventure, the people of the mountain and the other nurses, I just didn’t warm to Piper all that much and I certainly wasn’t intrigued by the love triangle she is dragging around behind her. I really enjoyed Piper’s aunt’s reconnection with a past beau, though, and thought this a nice addition to the story.

If you are looking for a historical read about strong, independent women with a touch of the dramatic in the romance, you’ll enjoy An Appalachian Summer.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The depression years in the Appalachia mountains were hard but the giving spirit of Mrs. Breckenridge was a very positive influence on the people. Appalachia came alive through the wonderful characters in this story. The nurses and the couriers were truly amazing as they strove to provide care for the women and their babies. Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
When I read the info about An Appalachian Summer by Ann Gabhart, I thought it was a sequel to These Healing Hills. It wasn't, but it could have been.

Both books centered on the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains. This book focused on a young debutante, Piper Danson, who, dissatisfied with life, looks for a way to escape her obligation of getting married to the "right" guy, for all the wrong reasons (status, money, and a comfortable life). So she volunteers to become a courier in the Appalachian Mountains, for the Frontier Nursing Service. Her goal was to avoid thinking about the man she loved, but was "unsuitable" for her to marry, according to her father. She also wanted to not think about the man her father wanted her to marry. A man she felt nothing for. So she runs away, hoping to delay the inevitable. But sometimes, the "inevitable" chases you down until you have no choice but to make a decision. 

I enjoyed learning more about the Frontier Nursing Service. Ann Gabhart once again has done her research, giving the reader not only a minds-eye view of the Appalachians but the experience of what the nurses and couriers had to go through. I am convinced I will never eat another chicken again. No, I'm not going to tell you what happens to the poor chicken. Suffice it to say, the author's writing was vivid enough that I am now thinking of becoming completely vegetarian. 

I love that the author includes an element of faith in her books, while not being preachy about it. The major theme in this book, for me, was taking that step out in faith when we are unsure what will happen—something Piper had to learn the hard way.

"That can be how faith in the Lord is. You might feel a little trembly when you take that first step of trusting your ways to him, but once you do, you can always depend on that firm foundation of the Lord's love."

A lovely book with a beautiful message. I highly recommend it.

I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing/Revell, through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
"She did say her prayers every night when she wasn't too tired, but had she ever considered the Lord's will in her life?  Was it his will that she be here in the mountains beside this woman who knew what to weed out and what to let grow?  Would it be too wrong to ask her how she knew what was the Lord's will and what wasn't?"  I love this passage that perfectly sums up the theme of this book.  With an old flame, a love triangle, and a wandering spirit, this book presents so many life experiences of fluctuation.  The reader follows along as Piper, Truda, and Jamie learn to trust their hearts and believe that the Lord will lead them down the right path.
Was this review helpful?
An Appalachian Summer is a very thoughtful and moving examination of life during the height of the Great Depression - 1933 Kentucky. This story will open your eyes and your heart not only to families' struggles with the financial ramifications of the Depression but, also, to significant challenges inherent in the medical care system of the time. Ann Gabhart skillfully showcases the class boundaries and, for some, outright snobbishness and lack of concern toward those who have lost their position in society as well as those who have always lived in poverty.

Jamie Russell is a very sympathetic character, as he struggles with establishing a career path after his family loses everything in the market crash. His longtime friend Piper Danson is more interested in being outdoors and in giving back to the needy rather than attending a whirlwind of debutante parties. Thus, she becomes a volunteer with the Frontier Nursing Service, established during the prior decade by Mary Breckinridge. In addition to Mary, there are many other great secondary characters.

The Frontier Nursing Service is a private charitable organization serving a predominately impoverished rural area in southeastern Kentucky. The staff is composed of nurse-midwives who were trained in England. They travel via horseback and on foot to provide childbirth care in the patients' homes, acting as both midwives and family nurses. One of Piper's responsibilities is helping to care for the horses and, when needed, to assist the nurses. 

One of my favorite parts of this book is the writing style of the author, as she paints a picture with words - the beautiful hills, the flora and fauna, and the homes, which typically have no electricity or running water. This novel is heartfelt, charming, down to earth, and definitely one for the re-read list. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?