Angel Sister: A Novel

Angel Sister: A Novel

by Ann H. Gabhart


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It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together. Her father slowly slips into alcoholism and his business suffers during the Great Depression. As her mother tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?

In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times. Multidimensional characters face real and trenchant problems while maintaining their family bonds, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer. Readers will be drawn into the story and find themselves lingering there long after they've finished the book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800733810
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 476,775
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Outsider, The Believer, and The Seeker. Her latest novel was inspired in part by the many stories her mother and two aunts told her of growing up in small town Kentucky during the 1930s. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky.

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Angel Sister 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Angel Sister by Ann Gabhart is a poignant story of love and forgiveness in a Southern small town. Kate Merritt is the responsible one of three sisters. As her father, Victor, has slipped further and further into alcoholism, she has picked up more and more burdens around the house. At fourteen, she isn't lovestruck like older sister Evie nor does she want to go fishing all the time like little sister Tori. Kate tries to take care of her father as he stumbles in drunk night after night while her family refuses to discuss what is going on. Lorena Birdsong's parents have abandoned her on the church steps of Rosey Corner in the hopes of a family taking her in and caring for her. Her mother tells her that she will be found by an angel, so when Kate discovers Lorena, the girl is certain that Kate is her angel. Lorena is quickly adopted by the Merritt family, and her presence heals some of the wounds that have been festering, until the town decides that Victor can barely take care of his own daughters because of his drinking, so Lorena must be placed with a different couple. This course of action will put the town on a collision course where the Merritts will be forced to face the past and deal with the ghosts that have been haunting them for thirty years. Gabhart is best known for her historical fiction about the Shakers, but with this novel she has shown readers that she is one of the best writers in Christian fiction today. Kate is a heroine in the vein of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, and readers will fall in love with this young woman who will stop at nothing to save her family. When her faith is shattered by a terrible act, I couldn't help but cry the tears she refused to shed. It's her will that pulls her family back together piece by piece. Every character is fully fleshed and remarkably real. I will miss these characters now that the book is done; that is a testament to Gabhart's writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved the story and the characters......
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Victor, Nadine, and Kate Merritt are the main characters in this book. The story revolves around their past and present lives. Victor has a drinking problem which started when he was serving in WWI. I strongly suspect that Preston Merritt, Victor's Father, played a big part in it too. Preston was a man that his son could never please. Victor could do nothing right in his Father's eyes; the reason goes back to when Victor was growing up. Nadine Merritt is the Daughter of Preacher Reece. She too could never live up to her Father's expectations. Her Father was always praying over her and quoting scriptures at her. She could do nothing right in his eyes. Victor and Nadine married against both their Father's wishes. They were so happy early on in their marriage. Soon after marriage, Victor went off to fight in the war. Their lives would never be the same. Kate Merritt is fourteen years old and the middle daughter in the family of three girls. Her mother depends on Kate to take over and help her father when he comes home drunk and to help her mother with household chores and other problems that might crop up. Kate never quibbles about it. She just does it. This story goes back and forth between the past and present telling both sides of Victor and Nadine's life. This is a necessary part of this book. It has to happen this way in order to get the full picture of what happened and why. A five year old girl named Lorena Birdsong is found by Kate sitting on the steps of Grandfather Reece's church. Her parents couldn't care for her and that is where they left her. Lorena sees Kate as her Angel. Has Lorena been sent from God to rescue the Merritt family from destruction? This book is about unconditional love, hanging on to faith, and the ability to forgive. The Author, Ann H. Gebhart takes you through a variety of emotions. I felt their joy, their happiness, their anger and their pain. I lived it with them.
Wedge-O More than 1 year ago
Touching, heart wrenching and delightful. Exactly what I needed to read. A story that reminds us all that yesterday's values still matter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a refreshing, sweet read! This has it, romance, suspense...and such a sense of family! Love the books that change by CherishD
KarenLange More than 1 year ago
Is Kate Merritt the glue that holds her family together? At first glance, one might think so, but fourteen year old Kate struggles with issues below the surface. Victor, her father, is tormented by drink, wrestling demons from his service in WW I. Her mother Nadine depends on her, for Kate's older sister, sixteen year old Evangeline, lacks Kate's ability to keep a level head. Younger sister Victoria is not old enough to grasp all that happens in the Merritt household. Grandfather Merritt and Grandfather Reece are forces to be reckoned with, and contribute much conflict to this heartwarming story. Journey with Kate, her family, and the unusual cast of characters in Rosey Corner, KY as they meet Lorena Birdsong. The young waif is convinced that Jesus sent Kate to rescue her. Forgiveness, truth, and trust in God play key roles as the Merritt family looks to find solutions to their challenges. Ann's gift for telling a fine story is evident; I was hooked early on. Angel Sister will stir your heart and imagination.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. I have read other books by this author and I am never disapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderul story about family. Ms. Gabhart writes with such emotion that you are engrossed in the story. I loved alk the flash backs to fully understand all the characters. This story also showed determination, prayer, and a lot of leaning on each other you can get through anything especially when you don't understand what is going on. True sisters do everything they can. I cannot wait to see what things push their faith next. Ms. Gabhart is an author I will read more of her work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved It. We all should be so lucky to have an Angel Sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writer keeps you on the edge of what an angel sister is. I really enjoyed this book. Reminds me of what a true sister is like and how far they will go for a sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much I now have all the books from this author. Well worth reading so please see for yourself.
tortia6fan More than 1 year ago
I cannot put this book down once I picked it up and started to read it! EXCELLENT read!!!! It was offered as a free ebook and I am so enjoying the book. Don't want it to end!
satch More than 1 year ago
A super summer by the beach read. enjoy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet endearing story. I loved it.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
War is never over, it sometimes seems. Young men, young women go to war and come home with images and horror stories that those who haven't been there will never understand. This is what happened with Victor Merritt after the big war. Set in 1936 Victor's family is falling apart. His wife resents him because he has turned to the bottle, the dreams that plague him in his sleep cause him to turn to the bottle, and his family suffers through all of it. His middle daughter seems to be the one who feels things the deepest, at fourteen, she is at an age that is hard enough, but a father who is drinking and a mother who is worried about that is making life hard for Kate Merritt. Then an 'angel sister' comes into their lives. A little girl was left on the church steps and Kate found her, and it was instant love. Kate felt like God purposely sent her to the church that day to find little Lenora. However that was not the way her grandfathers saw it. They were both, for different reasons, determined that Lenora would not stay with Kate and her family. A tale that will have you in tears, ensues from this point. I cried and laughed with this story, through the pages, you feel the dispair of the family and the hurt of Kate. I did not put this book down until I finished it. It was a intense story. You will grieve for this broken family as they struggle through their hurts. A wonderful book, that you will want to read. 403 pages US $14.99 5 stars. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review. Angel Sister is available February 2011 from your favorite seller of Revell Books a division of Baker Publishing Group.
sara.edens on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ann Gabhart is a writer of inspirational novels. She doesn¿t sugar coat, nor is she ¿in your face,¿ with situations her characters experience. She was born and raised in the Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky, so grew up on a farm. She has been writing since she was just 10 years old. She first published a historical romance in 1978 and continues to give us fodder for our eyes, spirits, and hearts.Angel Sister is a touching novel set between World War I and World War II. The depression era brings Lorena Birdsong to a poor family where she adopts Kate as her Sister Angel. The family isn¿t one that is stable, except in its love. They are poor, dad is an functioning alcoholic, Kate has two sisters (one older, one younger), and mom loves them all. They survive by growing their own vegetables, milking a cow, and running a tab at the general store which happens to be owned and run by Kate¿s paternal grandfather.Speaking of grandfathers, the family is blessed with two, yet neither are loving. Grandfather Merritt is stiff, stern, and unbending in his disappointment of Victor (Kate¿s father). He has a heart bent on self-destruction and if it destroys Victor in the process, so much the better. Grandfather Reece is a strict Southern Baptist pastor. He is determined that Kate is belligerent and going to the devil. Together, although the two grandfathers can barely stand each other, they work to remove Lorena from Kate¿s home. Lorena is 5 years old and sees Kate as her angel. The one person that God sent to save her from being lonely and starving after her parents left her at the pastor¿s front steps because they were unable to care for her during this horrible depression. Kate was swept away by the love and trust that Lorena gave and was determined to save and keep her until her natural parents could return. In the meantime, grandfathers are trying to take Lorena away, there are emotional upheavals for the family with man-made problems. They re-find their faith and it grows stronger as this little family work so hard with the help of Aunt Hattie to find their way. As a plus, Ms. Gabhart is working on a sequel to this novel so that her readers can find out what happens to Rosey Corner after Sister Angel ends.I give this a 5 of 5 stars. The book is interesting, entertaining, and you fall in love with her very real characters, warts and all.
jo-jo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When this book was chosen as a book club selection, not one of us ladies realized that it was actually Christian fiction. Although I am a Christian, I have found that much Christian fiction I read just ends up being a bit too unrealistic for my taste. I can tell you that most of the ladies in my group loved this novel, while my final thoughts tend to be a bit more reserved.Although I didn't enjoy this story as much as the other ladies, I did find appreciation within the story itself. We are brought to a small community in Kentucky during the Great Depression to follow the lives of the Merritt family. We are shown glimpses of past events that all of the family members have been avoiding, but now realize that they must confront these demons if their lives are going to continue without hurting one another.Victor and Nadine fell in love long ago, and it was very touching as they both reflected on their love and lives together as they were struggling to keep their marriage intact. They were so young and in love that I don't think either one of them realized how they got to this place in their marriage where they no longer recognized each other. But Nadine kept her faith in the Lord and her husband and once Victor admitted to Nadine that he needed help, she embraced him and offered him her support.Kate is the middle sister of the Merritt family and for some reason has taken the weight of the family's problems on her own shoulders. When Kate discovers a young girl that appears to be left on the church doorstep her motherly instincts take over and she takes young Lorena Birdsong under her wing. When Kate brings Lorena home everyone is smitten with her, but little do they know the fight that is ahead of them if they intend to try to offer a home to her in the future. This little girl's presence within the Merritt household ignites a tenacity within the household that is needed if they are going to stay together.I don't want to give away any more of the story in the event that you read it yourself. As I indicated earlier, I did enjoy the story but there were snippets of the writing I did not enjoy. The book is told in third person, but every now and then a phrase was in there that was from a first person viewpoint. I also had a problem with the timeline throughout the novel. Very often a character was reflecting on past events and I found that the flow from past to present to be confusing. I found myself having to stop reading once and awhile and go back over the last couple of pages just to be sure I was following the story correctly.Besides my few problems with this novel, I did find enjoyment from reading it. The ladies in my book club loved it and it created great discussions with themes of love, forgiveness, war, and familial relationships.
lauriehere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brand new - just released. Will come back and do proper review.
sandralb More than 1 year ago
This novel takes place in 1936 during the Great Depression. The story is about the Merritt family mom, dad and three daughters. They live in Rosey Corner, Kentucky. Just like everyone else there, times were really hard. It was hard to keep your family fed during this time. When a young girl Lorena Birdsong shows up abandoned on the church steps, Kate the middle Merritt daughter wants to take her in. What's one more sister, when there is already three. Besides she is little for 5 and won't eat much. Nadine Merritt, the mom has a big heart and can't say no. Believing like daughter Kate, God must have wanted them to take care of her. After all Kate is the one to find her. That's how she became Angel Sister. Ann Gabhart covers so many different personal and social problems. Victor Merritt is a veteran from the war that came back with PTSD. Of course at that time they did not have a name for PTSD. This was the biggest reason for Victor's drinking problem. Toward the end of the war there was a great influenza epidemic, that took many of Rosey Corners people, young and old. The characters are numerous and multi leveled. Victor, Nadine and Kate are the three main characters to the novel. I found this historical novel to be one I had a hard time siting down. It was a sad and depressing subject and time period, but Ms. Gabhart was able to bring light and hope to the darkness. I am new to this author, but have enjoyed the books I have read recently of hers. I would recommend reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story and great characters. I looked forward to each chapter.
Cindi_A More than 1 year ago
I had a little trouble getting into this story especially with it jumping between time periods. However, I am so thankful that I stuck with it. Talk about flawed characters. The author does an excellent job creating realistic personalities. With the way the novel is written we get to learn about Kate's parents and how their lives together started as well as their current circumstances. Having this history brings with it details that explain so much. It's amazing how one little girl can alter the course of so many lives. Love, faith, hope, and forgiveness are all a part of this compelling book. Very worthwhile read.
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