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Ann H. Gabhart’s Small Town Girl


In the autumn of 1941, rumors of war whisper through Rosey Corner. The town practically vibrates in anticipation, 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. Kate’s friends are rushing to get married before the boys go off to war. The newspapers talk of women making airplanes and bombs. Everyone in town begins rolling bandages, planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal. Kate finds herself drawn to Jay in surprising ways, and when he enlists she can hardly breathe worrying about him getting killed. Could she truly be in love with him? And if she is, will she ever see him again?

In her gentle and textured style, Ann Gabhart tells a timeless story of love, sacrifice, and longing that will grip the heart and stir the spirit. Fans of Angel Sister will be thrilled to see Kate Merritt all grown up. New readers will find that Ann Gabhart weaves in Small Town Girl a beautiful story that will touch their hearts and win their loyalty.


I was immediately drawn to this book because of the time period. WWII seems to be picking up! I didn’t realize this book was a series, however, and though there were moments that I felt weren’t fully explained, I did not feel like I needed to read book one. The novel starts off with Kate who has a doozy of a problem. I liked Kate. I felt like she was a real person with real issues and her desire to always fix things was to her credit. I also liked that in spite of the fact that she had quite a challenge to overcome in the beginning, she did not whine and complain. She only ever seemed to think of others. My heart went out to Jay and people like him who don’t have a strong familial background. Though there were times when he made me want to roll my eyes, I really felt like he was a character worth knowing. I found the romance to be sweet if a little predictable. Spiritually, I found Jay’s revelation of who God is to be really well developed. I could understand where he was coming from. I did, however, think it odd that everyone kept telling Kate to follow her heart when Jay was still trying to figure himself out.  The novel got a little slower for me towards the end (or was I just excited to get to the end?) but I found the conclusion to be very romantic. If there is another book in this series, I’ll be reading it!

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