My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream

by Pepper Basham


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683227793
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2019
Series: My Heart Belongs Series
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 165,646
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

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My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 23 days ago
'I can't hardly get one dream to come true. It'd seem greedy to hope for two.' This book just filled my heart all the way up till the goodness overflowed. Pepper Basham has just outdone herself here. Jonathan Taylor has come from England to teach in a one room school in 1918 Appalachia. Boy, is he unprepared for what he finds. He longs to be of some use to these children, but long held family belief systems and superstition nearly break his heart. He can't go back home because his stern father doesn't think he can make a go of it there or anywhere. Laurel McAdams has taken it on herself to help the new teacher. Laurel has long dreamed of going to college to become a teacher herself. Her dreams might come true, but then maybe not. Surely God wouldn't take her dream away, would He? She wants it so badly. Everything about this book touched my heart. The wonderful patterns of speech of these people was dear to my heart because I've heard my grandparents speak this way and sometimes my mother did also. Their hearts and their acceptance of the hardships of mountain living was amazing. I felt like I just fell into the book and knew everyone. Laurel and Jonathan were two characters that I will remember for a very long time. This is definitely a book that is destined to be read again! Basham's prose is woven with love throughout each page and I adored it. *My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
Anonymous 22 days ago
This book was great! It was very historically accurate and that really added to the overall feeling of the book. The descriptions of the mountains were breathtaking. I really liked how Laurel and Jonathan are both bookworms and violinists. Laurel seemed lifelike and I adored the way that Jonathan put his full effort into teaching the school for the deeply traditional mountain folk. The relationship between Jonathan and Laurel was sweet because it focused on their love of education, with romance more of a side plot. It was nice to see determined characters that never gave up - no matter what happened. There was a twist in the book that I never expected. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream took me back to the time period, and I felt like I was in the Blue Ridge Mountains with the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to step into another culture for a moving visit. *I received a free advance review copy from the publisher on NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
3C 23 days ago
Laurel's Dream is a beautifully written historical, set in Appalachia in 1918, with the additional backdrop of World War I and the increasingly dangerous Spanish Influenza Epidemic. I loved Laurel McAdams from the beginning, as I enjoyed her strength, compassion, ambition, and courage. Jonathan Taylor was a charming and intelligent young man, troubled by family conflicts, who moved from London to Maple Springs, North Carolina, to teach. These two characters captured the turmoil and struggles of how it was for their time and location in history. Warmth, compassion, heartache, and faithfulness are among the emotions you will experience as you read this tale. “Ever seen an autumn-leaf rainbow, Teacher?” My favorite part of this book is the writing style of the author, as she paints a picture with words - the smells, tastes, and sounds, plus her use of old time metaphors and slang really bring the tale alive to all senses. Pepper Basham has a wonderful gift. I wanted to visit Maple Springs, smell the clean air, see the beautiful forests and ridges surrounding the quaint town, and meet some of the neighbors. This novel is heart felt, charming and 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.
WildflowerMom 3 months ago
A wonderful story full of life and love! A glimpse into the Appalachian culture of a small community at the end of WW1, with a conflict all its own. When a young man from England comes to teach school at the mission led by his uncle, ill feelings are stirred up among the stern mountain men and the 'flatlander' who wants to improve their lives, and open their eyes to the outside world. “Dream, girl, but trust God to take better care of your dreams than you ever could.” This book started out well, and just got better and better as it went. It had me smiling and chuckling one moment, and holding my breath the next. I loved the way the author kept things light in parts with humor, quirky people and funny colloquialisms, cleverly working in the serious issues, adding biblical wisdom via conversations between characters. Laurel's mom and Jonathan's uncle especially were founts of lovely encouraging quotes, as well as Laurel herself. The spiritual themes included learning to trust God, looking to him for guidance and approval instead of others, and loving people to Christ, forgiving and letting go of anger. The difficult problems of alcoholism, unwed mothers, ignorance and prejudice added a serious side to the plot. It seemed to be implied that alcoholics were something to be tolerated, which may have been the case in that culture at that time; sadly though, the families suffer. I loved the resolution of this book and how the romance developed from a healthy friendship. The romance is a wowzer when it happens, so be patient and be prepared to sigh. It will steal your breath away! I seriously didn't want this book to end. It was interesting to read the author's introduction that said her own family's history inspired some of the story, and there may be another book at some point. Yay! A few of the characters could definitely have their own book. Highly recommend this book to Christian historical romance fans! If you enjoyed Christy by Catherine Marshall, Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin, or These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart, you will love this one too. (An e-book was provided by Barbour Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)
BethErin less than 1 minute ago
Much like the dreamy rolling peaks of the southern Appalachians, this story invites the heart and mind to meander and soak up the extraordinary beauty of every day. Laurel's Dream honors the legacy of a vibrant culture with the innocence of a coming of age tale, the universal appeal of family drama, and the irresistible draw of sweet romance. Laurel's open, honest, and innocent personality is so refreshing in a world which seems to be increasingly jaded and cynical. Her joy and compassion shine all the brighter against a backdrop of poverty and occasional sorrow. Jonathan's privileged background lends a stark contrast to the material want and the strong community of Appalachia. His purposeful and respectful approach to a culture quite different from his own reveals his admirable integrity and intelligence.  While I've highlighted some of my favorite positive attributes, this story has a hearty helping of hardships and each character possesses genuine flaws and raw authenticity. Faith, hope, love, and humor make this a story you'll want to share and enjoy again and again. This book is going straight to my all-time favorites shelf, I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Carol-Kelley 5 days ago
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge by Pepper Basham is a wonderful book that will transport you to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a hard life for Laurel and her family. She has dreams of becoming a teacher, but can she accomplish them. When the Jonathon, the new teacher arrives in town to live with his missionary uncle Laurel wants to help him. There are dangers and insecurities to overcome. I have enjoyed all of Ms. Basham's books and her writing style. She writes about real people with real issues. I received this book from NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
fuzzmom 6 days ago
Jonathan Taylor was running, running away from the failure his father thought he was and running toward a place he thought he could contribute. Because of an old injury, he couldn't contribute toward the war effort, but maybe his brain and his skills could contribute here, in the Blue Ridge Mountains as a teacher for his uncles' mission. Laurel McAdams wanted more than what she had. Not material things, she had enough of those, makin' do was a way of life in these mountains, but learning. She had a secret hoard, carefully saved from her job, to pay room and board at college . Just a bit more and she could begin. So starts the saga. A wonderful story of strength and faith. Rich in descriptions that bring life in the mountains into clear focus. Not to be missed!
Momof9Kids 6 days ago
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time!! Pepper Basham has given us great insight into life in the Appalachian Mountains in the early 1900s. Laurel McAdam’s life is filled with wonder. It is a simple life without the encumbrance of a lot of material things. It is a hard and impoverished life as her family struggles to eke out a living. It is a life filled with laughter and music. It is a life filled with dreams. It is a life surrounded by the beauty of nature at its finest. It is a life filled with humor and sorrow. It is a life filled with trouble as the close knit mountain people seek to keep outsiders out to preserve their way of life. Laurel has big hopes and dreams to help the people in the community she loves so well. Her hopes include being able to leave the mountain for a time…just long enough to get a college education so that she can come back and teach the young people…so that she can fan the flames to keep their hopes and dreams alive. Teachers don’t usually last long at the little two-room schoolhouse in Maple Springs and now a new one is on the way. Jonathan Taylor has traveled all the way from England to join his uncle, Edward Anderson, in his missionary endeavors among the people of Appalachia. While Uncle Edward ministers to their spiritual needs, Jonathan will see to their education. Once he sees the tremendous needs in Maple Springs, he really wishes he had been able to complete his education to be a doctor. When Laurel and Jonathan meet, there is an instant attraction but is it just intellectual or is love blooming? Laurel’s Dream is both humorous and heart-wrenching but also powerfully uplifting as we see faith at work in the lives of the characters in this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
SKetchersid 7 days ago
Pepper Basham has done it again! While I love her contemporary “kissing books”, I was captivated by this story set in the Blue Ridge mountains, rich with Appalachian culture and lore. From the quaint Appalachian speech to the lusciously painted setting, each page drew me into a world I’d never experienced, yet came to love. This is one of the sweetest love stories I’ve read in a long time. Laurel is tenderhearted and kind while being amazingly strong in the face of difficult circumstances. Her wisdom and spiritual insight combined with her innocent faith make her a compelling character that you grow to love and want to protect. Jonathan is not unlike Laurel in his good-natured personality and innate sense of right and wrong. He, like Laurel, is a kind soul who learns to love the foreign culture of the mountains even though he is like a fish out of water. The growth of Laurel and Jonathan’s friendship is sweet and delicately blooms into a beautiful love that satisfying and very swoon-worthy. Yes, Pepper writes kissing scenes that rivals that of Julie Lessman. I highly recommend this book to any reader of historical romance. It’s rich in history and culture while giving a fantastic romance that will put a smile on your face.
Mandy Elliott 8 days ago
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All thoughts below are my own. This sweet novel opens the door to life in the heart of Appalachia during the early twentieth century. With endearing characters and a storyline so heartwarming, it’s a must-love story from start to finish! With a tender love story reminiscent of Catherine Marshall’s Christy, Pepper Basham shares a delightful tale of a young, British man who comes to the heart of the Appalachian mountains in 1918 at the behest of his uncle to teach at a mission school. There he meets Laurel, a young woman who’s colorful and upbeat outlook on her life in the mountains when it’s at its best, or its hardest, has him falling for the mountains, and her. Having lived in the Appalachian mountains myself, I can attest to the tugging the beautiful mountain scenery and countryside can place on one’s heart. I found this sweet novel to be both familiar and endearing. Author Pepper Basham weaves in colorful mountain phrases, wit, humor and country charm while depicting what I believe to be an accurate look at life in the mountains around the early twentieth century. The characters are likable, while the story line moves along with both the highs and lows of life in a remote area. There are strong elements of faith woven throughout the story and a beautiful underlying message of God’s never-ending love for His children and the acceptance He gives regardless of our shortcomings. In my opinion, this historical fiction novel is the perfect cozy, light read for perhaps a winter afternoon under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream is a wholesome read for teenagers and will charm adult readers as well.
PatriotMama 9 days ago
This was my first book by Pepper Basham. I have read all of the books in the My Heart Belongs series & this was one of my favorite. I loved the setting in the Appalachian mountains as I am very familiar with the area & people. The author did a wonderful job describing it. I enjoyed the author bringing a man from England & setting him smack down into this region. It made for some funny moments but also some very serious events. I loved every moment of this book & didn’t want it to end. I really hope the author plans a sequel. Actually she could write an entire series following Laurel & Jonathan. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
swissgranny 10 days ago
Pepper Basham takes the reader on an eye-opening cultural trip to the backwoods of Appalachia in 1918 in her novel My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream. Capturing the speech of the locals and the adventures awaiting the outsiders who dare to venture there, the author painted such a vivid picture that I was transported and felt like I was plopped right down with Teacher into the setting. The colorful characters came alive on the page and traipsed right into my heart. Laurel McAdams, who wants to become a teacher, and Jonathan Taylor, who has taken a teaching job in the Blue Ridge Mountains but wants to become a doctor, are the main characters in this captivating tale. Jonathan has no idea about the adventures that are awaiting him—mountain lions, polecats, and wary parents, along with a beautiful, courageous heroine. Brimming with wit and charm and full of Basham’s sense of humor and beautiful prose, this book is one for the keeper shelf. Themes of trust, faith, the importance of family, and the power of love are woven seamlessly throughout the book and add to the journey into this intriguing world. I’m hoping there will be additional stories about some of the other characters in the future. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Lattebooks 11 days ago
Oh wow did I love this! It perfectly embodies the people and spirit of life in the Blue Ridge mountains. It is a completely different world and this author nailed it! Such a beautiful story of caring and reaching for your dreams. All the characters snagged a spot in my heart but Laurel and Jonathan were so special and endearing. Laurel’s desire for knowledge and more than the life she’s only ever known are hard to come by in the hollars. Jonathan thought he had a lot to prove and his attitude towards the people was the perfect mix. I can’t wait to read more from this author! She is amazingly talented at painting the scenery and landscapes to make the story come alive. I got this from Barbour Publishing but was not required to do a review. These are my own opinions.
Madalyn 11 days ago
A Delightful Book My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream is a delightful read in this series of books by different authors. This was my first time to read Pepper Basham and liked how she crafted such a beautiful story. Laurel, a native of the Blue Ridge, having grown up in all the hard time and troubles of Appalachia, is an absolute ray of sunshine and laughter. In 1918 Jonathan comes from England, having lived with a lack of love and approval from a father. He comes to teach with his missionary uncle who is a preacher. Their lives intersect and the story of two people with different dreams becoming friends begins. I enjoyed seeing all the characters develop and being introduced to many of the ways and traditions of the people of the ridge. It’s a good book that I highly recommend. It held by interest to the very last page. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
DKStevens119 13 days ago
Young Laurel takes on the overseeing of the new teacher. City boy totally out of his element in Blue Ridge. Saving him on his first day helps them connect and we quickly find them thrown together as they both work through the harsh realities of Appalachian life. I found it very interesting and hard to put down. I was gifted a copy through Barbour Publishing, no review was required. My review is voluntary.
CLovelyReads 13 days ago
Wonderful story in a beautiful setting. Love the Blue Ridge mountains area and this book did bring it closer to home. The characters were skillfully drawn into a lovely story. I enjoyed this book and wish there was a sequel to it! I will now be checking out more titles by this author... I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to leave a review. --
Andrea Byers 15 days ago
Laurel’s dreamed of going off to college for a while and has saved diligently for it. Jonathon has come to Maple Springs at his uncles prompting to teach the upper level children. Learning the mountain ways, trying to overcome prejudices along with the help of Lauren and her family make for a challenge and he appreciates the friendship extended to him. Sabotage and mishaps are par for the course, but a few have a price he doesn’t want Laurel to have to pay. Likeable characters, along with those that are more difficult round out this story. An enjoyable read overall, and another great addition to the My Heart Belongs series. Hoping we get to hear more about Laurel’s family and Jonathon’s in future books. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
LJShuck 15 days ago
Loved, loved this book! Author Pepper Basham’s newest release My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is well written with well developed characters. The descriptions of the mountain, its people and their homes are described so well I can still see them in my minds eye. Laurel McAdams grew up in these mountains; she loves the people and the mountain in all its seasonal splendor. When a handsome stranger comes to the mountain as the new school teacher, Laurel befriends him striving to pave the way for his acceptance by the community, a community embedded with traditions that do not welcome outsiders quickly. Jonathan Taylor has come to the Blue Ridge Mountains at the invitation of his preacher uncle, an invitation extended after visiting Jonathan in his British home and seeing the discontent in Jonathan. Under his father’s ever-present disapproval, Jonathan’s uncle extends the offer to teach and perhaps even provide limited medical care, an offer Jonathan accepts. As both Laurel and Jonathan strive to encourage of the newcomer to the community and the school, suspicions arise. Believing the new teacher is going to entice their children into the ways of the world, pulling them away from the mountain heritage so deeply engrained, not all the parents are willing to send their children to school. Still others send their older children as spies. When Jonathan is called back home, Laurel picks up the lessons using her gifted teaching and love of the mountain children. While Jonathan is away, Laurel is anguished with missing him. Though he promised to return to her, Laurel prays that it would be so for in his absence she realizes she’s come to love Jonathan quite deeply. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and am under no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions therein are solely my own.
Ddeb 17 days ago
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge The settlement of Maple Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains was not prepared to welcome an outsider from London, England. Jonathan Taylor wanting his freedom from his domineering father took a teaching position in Appalachia. He is greeted by the locals with curiosity and hostility. Some mountain people were resistant to change on their mountain and life style, and saw Jonathan as a threat to their way of life. But the McAdams family welcomed Jonathan to their settlement. Laurel one of their daughters had inspirations of her own. She desired to go to college to become a teacher, so she could return to Maple Springs and help her friends and family to reach their potential. Jonathan and Laurel desire to help the people, unite them in this goal. But superstition and lack of trust puts barriers in the way of helping the community. I enjoyed this book and the surprise at the end. The culture of the Blue Ridge was entertaining and somewhat enlightening. Pepper Basham wrote a delightful book than explores the culture of the Blue Ridge during that time period. She breathed life into the characters of Jonathan and especially Laurel. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
jacksonmomLV 17 days ago
What a wonderful historical romance, full of Appalachian spice and humor. I loved learning about the beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains and reading the quaint colloquialisms that make you almost smell the woodsmoke and taste the corn pone. Main characters Jonathan Taylor and Laurel McAdams are different in so many ways - he is a refined college graduate from England, and she a mountain girl full of big dreams. Although he is the new missionary teacher, she winds up being the one tutoring him! But they have kindred hearts, and the challenges they help each other face only make that more obvious. Laurel and Jonathan work hard together to dispel the ignorance and despair that keeps much of her community in poverty. As gentle and chaste as their friendship is, not everyone sees it that way. Jonathan faces some serious enmity from the mountain folk, including a death-threat that sends this gentle book in a WHOLE new direction. (I was surprised - but not offended by - the passionate scene toward the end of this story.) The book naturally weaves the issues of honesty, loyalty, sacrifice, and faith throughout. One of my favorite quotes (there are MANY) was from Laurel's mama: "My hands" - she took Laurel's fingers in hers - "your hands, are only meant to carry today. They ain't big enough for yesterday or tomorrow. Only God's hands are big enough. We can dream and imagine, but grasping hold of tomorrow as if we know what goes on there, well, that can lead to a heap of heartache or a whole lot of pride...Dream, girl, but trust God to take better care of your dreams than you ever could." This is the first book I've read by Pepper Basham, but it won't be the last. In fact, this tale is one that SCREAMS for a sequel, with so many delicious loose ends to braid together in another book. Cora, Ishom, Maggie, Elias - keep talking to Pepper! And of course I'd love to see Laurel a few years down the road. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
TheBeccaFiles 18 days ago
This was my first time reading a book by Pepper Basham and I was certainly not disappointed! It’s not quite a novella, but it’s certainly a shorter novel (I read the e-book but according to Goodreads the print is 256 pages), and I happened to read entire book in one evening. I’ve only read a few stories that involve “mountain people,” but it’s quite interesting that almost all of them paint the same type of picture of them. They are a people of pride and while they may not have much, they work hard for what they do have. They don’t often take kindly to strangers, and are eerie of people who come in and say they want to help them in any way. They consider free help a charity case, and refuse to be viewed as such. So it’s safe to say that Jonathan Taylor had his work cut out for him when he truly had a heart to help the people of Blue Ridge by teaching their older youth. You also see that his truedesire is to be a doctor, which happens to be another profession the town could benefit from. Yet how do you help a people so bent on wanting you to leave? What I loved about Jonathan’s character was how willing he was to “get his hands dirty.” He didn’t want to be viewed as the type of person many originally took him for. He didn’t want to be viewed as the rich boy who thought he was better than them and came to teach out of pride and charity. Everything didn’t come easy for him there, but he continued to do his best and show the people that he truly cared. I really liked seeing his friendship with Laurel develop. They really were perfect for each other despite the fact that they were thrown together through circumstance. She helped him try to understand the people instead of simply fixing them. They really were a great team. That is all I will say because I don’t want to spoil anything in the story, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story and absolutely look forward to reading more from Pepper in the future! *I received a copy of this book from the author through NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions
MelissaGH 18 days ago
Life can be very different in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the first day, Jonathan encounters scary wildlife and meets people who intrigue and interest him. This story is filled with family ties, dedication to teaching and learning, decision making and more. A powerful story. The descriptions are amazing. Each scene comes alive through the details and descriptions the author shares. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
delsiek51 18 days ago
My heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is an interesting historical novel by Pepper Basham. I enjoyed reading Laurel’s Dream. It was captivating as you learned about the people of Maple Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Laurel’s dream was to save enough money to one day go to college in the outside world. Her goal was to become a teacher and then come home to teach. One day, a teacher from another world, England, came to teach. A friendship develops between Laurel and Jonathan, will love also develop? After an accident and a community misunderstanding, it leads to trouble with Laurel’s father. Jonathan is called back to England when his brother is killed in war, but will he acknowledge his love and return to Laurel? I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
LucyMR1 18 days ago
I have tears flowing as I’m trying to write this review. What a heartfelt, beautiful story. Ms. Basham has truly captured the heart of the people of Appalachia and penned it into a compelling story that captures time and place. The character of Laurel is a true heroine with a heart and dreams as big as the mountains she lives in. When Jonathan tells Laurel , “ I’ve never seen anything like them. Each morning, each afternoon they offer a different view.” He nodded as she looked up at him. “Yes, I guess they do call to me, but I haven’t sorted out what they’re saying.” These words are exactly how these mountains call to your heart, and the words are written like a lyrical dance between them throughout. I truly didn’t want this story to end. This is my first book by this author and now I want to read everything she has written. Move this to the top of Your TBR pile. I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
FHlady 19 days ago
I absolutely loved this book. Basham brings every aspect of the Blue Ridge mountain people to life from their speech, to their many mountain wisdom gems ( I highlighted quite a few), to the taste, smell, and feel of the mountains themselves. By the time I finished I wanted to immediately book a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Basham's prose read like poetry and drew me into every page of the story. Laurel, the beautiful, young mountain woman who aspired to go to college to become a teacher, so she could return and teach her people; and Jonathan, the young English man, who left home to become a teacher in his uncle's mission school both faced family problems and were outstanding main characters. Their friendship deepened as each tried to help the other reach the goal they had in mind. The secondary characters filled the small mountain community and were so realistic with their strengths, weaknesses, caring, prejudices, and fear of being corrupted by the outside world. Great spiritual content wove its way throughout the story adding additional depth. Overall, a beautifully, charming story. When the book ended, I was sad to leave this wonderful cast of characters and was hollering in my mind sequel, sequel, sequel!!! It was nice to go back to the forward and see that Basham intends to some time write the story of two more of the characters in this story and that the story is based on her family history.