Summer of Joy: A Novel

Summer of Joy: A Novel

by Ann H. Gabhart


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800731700
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/15/2008
Series: Heart of Hollyhill Series , #3
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 582,109
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

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

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Summer of Joy: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
 Oh wow, I enjoyed this book very much, again. I knew it sounded familiar when I requested the book, but when it came, I knew I had read it before. I read it when it first came out in 2008, before I started writing book reviews. I enjoyed the story and I loved Jocie. She was a wordy girl. Always having something to say or write. I enjoyed the chance to re-read this story and to review it this time. A great book written with Ann's wonderful style. Definitely a book worth reading again. 5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review. 
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Ann H. Gabhart's book Summer of Joy is finally back in print with a gorgeous new cover that embraces the 1960's setting, when a record player and 45 were a teenager's idea of a good time. Gabhart's portrayal of the Brooke family is one readers will easily relate to. This is the story of a family that withstands many trials and tribulations, but still comes out on top, with God's unconditional love and a lot of understanding. Gabhart writes about this Kentucky family in a way that will make readers feel like they are members of their own small town communities. It's about real people, with real struggles. A great novel! What I liked: The Brooke family is like any other small town family with a few exceptions. You have to remember how things were during the setting of this book. It's Kentucky in the 1960's. The town of Hollyhill is small and close knit. It's during the Vietnam War and racial equality is still far from being the norm. Divorces happen but they aren't an everyday occurrence.  At the head of the family you have, David, a divorced preacher and editor of the local newspaper. His teenage daughter Jocie, who is coming of age in the 60's. His other daughter, Tabitha who has recently returned home with her bi-racial three month old son. Leigh, David's much younger fiancee. Aunt Love, the glue that holds everything together, and a plethora of other characters. With continually changing viewpoints and narrators, this book can be a little confusing, but readers get to see a glimpse of life through the eyes of many different people. From the good times to the bad times and everything in between. I found it original and refreshing while also having a deep scope for the trials of the times. This book has a little bit of everything from love, to hardship and back again. There is a lot of humor and definitely some moments that will bring readers to tears, but the I think the true enjoyment of this book comes from the Christian message and God's unconditional love that is shown throughout. These family members are facing some terrible situations, from Cancer to stalking and the ridicule of others, but they still trust in God and rely on each other. I loved the sense of realness to this book. It wasn't at all far fetched to believe this family existed. Or to see how their faith saw them through some great trials. Gabhart has a way with writing characters that makes them become a part of the reader. This one is a bit unconventional for a Christian Fiction book, but I think that's part of it's overall charm. What I didn't like: The changing viewpoints took a bit of getting used to. But once I got the hang of it, I really liked seeing into the minds of each of these amazing characters. I liked the introspection and the glimpse into their everyday lives and what they faced on a daily basis. Bottom Line: This is an unconventional story with a really realistic family. I know... that doesn't sound like it makes sense but it does. It isn't the average Christian Fiction title most people pick up, but it is so easy to believe in these people and become invested in what happens to them. Ann H. Gabhart is a writer who understands that relating to the characters is a big part of what makes a book go from good to great!
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed me return visit to Hollyhill, KY, and the Brook family. In fact, I hated to leave! This is the summer of 1964, Vietnam War time, no cell phones, a quieter time, but hard time. David Brook is still running the newspaper, and being the Pastor at Mt. Pleasant. He is also hoping to have a new start in life and include Leigh. Things are still active at the Brook home, with Aunt Love, Jocie, David, Tabathia, and sweet little Stephen Lee. I can just picture this house; it is not large, but so filled with love. Makes you wonder how Dee-Dee could have left, even for the greener pastures. Life is funny at times, and now some of the things you think you have gotten past, and left behind, have started to return. There are some so hysterical things that happen you will have a hard time not laughing out loud. We still have loveable Wes, and his Jupiter life, what a blessing he has been in Jocie’s life. Zelda keeps everyone on their toes, and she ends up wanting to hide under her desk, but as Zelda does recover, she is back at managing everyone’s life, and sometimes it is good that she does. We are going to face some evil, or misguided people, in the form of a teacher, and some parents. Will this family be able to weather all of this and end up with life back to some kind of normalcy? Once you open the cover, you will not want to leave. Enjoy! I received this book through the Publisher Revell and their Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
memakf More than 1 year ago
Coming of Age in the late 60’s This is a delightful story about a small southern town in the late 1960’s. It features one family, but you get to meet many of the town inhabitants along the way. The family is not your typical family, although anyone can find something in common with them as they stumble through life’s lessons. The main character is a teenage girl who has lots of ups and downs as most young teenagers do! She is very lovable and endearing and I just wanted to be able to meet her in person to give her a hug! There is plenty of controversy throughout the story to keep you reading and yet it all seems so “normal” in the day to day living of life. There are lessons to learn along with Jocie as well as lots of laughter and tears. I would recommend this book for many ages – especially young teenagers feeling like life is just too hard at times. I hope we get to revisit this little town in future stories as it captured my heart and devotion.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
I did not read the first two books in this series, however I had no problem connecting with the characters. What a great religious message and what a great family. Through God and family, anything is possible. I was impressed with the range of emotions I felt in this book. I was worried, happy, sad, and there were times that I laughed so loud my hubby gave me a weird look. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Summer of Joy continues the story of Jocie and her family. This book covers Jocie's freshman year in high school. I love Jocie even more in every book I read in this series. I really hope this isn't the final book. I was a little disappointed that Noah and his family were a little neglected in this book when they were a big part of Orchards of Hope. Other than that, I loved every bit of this book. It's fun, sweet, nostalgic and even a little suspenseful.  I love love love this book and really enjoy Ann H Gabhart's writing style in this series. Highly recommended.  5 stars
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Summer of Joy takes us back to rural Hollyhill, Kentucky in the mid 1960's during a turbulent time in our nation's history. The characters that we have come to know and love in the previous two novels are all back. What seems to be a time of joy for the Brooke family comes to a startling halt with the arrival of a person they all thought was long gone. Ms. Gabhart has done a beautiful job of showing us that family isn't always blood relation. Sometimes family is comprised of those that are related by heart. I enjoyed seeing how each of the members of this family let love and forgiveness shine the light of Christ to those around them.  I suppose that this could technically be classified as a stand alone novel, but I wouldn't personally recommend it that way. There is so much rich history that goes into the complete story that I think you will miss out if you limit yourself to only reading this novel. In my opinion you really should treat yourself and read the whole series in order. It is a wonderful  piece of literature that captures the angst and innocence of the timeframe.  I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
SUMMER OF JOY by Ann H. Gabhart is an interesting Christian Contemporary Romance set in 1964, HollyHill, Kentucky. #3 in the "HollyHill" series, but can be read as a stand alone. A sweet tale of friendship, family,controversy, secrets, past meets the present and love set against the backdrop of 1960's Kentucky. Nothing will never be the seem again. Ms. Gabhart writes with passion, devotion and endurance of people in everyday America. A must read for anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, and the storm that is brewing. A great summer read! Powerful and compelling! *Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.* RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: SWEET REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
VicG More than 1 year ago
Ann H. Gabhart in her new book, “Summer Of Joy” Book Three in The Heart of Hollyhill  series published by Revell returns us to the life of Jocie Brooke. From the Back Cover:   As summer draws to a close Jocie’s world seems serene–but is it just the calm before a storm? Unbeknownst to Jocie Brooke and her family, two people are making their way to the small town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. One everyone thought was gone for good and the other no one’s ever heard of. Still, one thing is sure–they promise trouble. The past is coming to call, threatening to destroy strong relationships that everyone has simply taken for granted. The summer of 1964 may be winding down, but the controversy in this little community where nothing ever seems to change is just heating up. Bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you to Hollyhill for a story both exciting and enduring that will stick with you long after you turn the last page. One of the states that I have always wanted to visit is Kentucky.  When I finally get to travel there I will see the horse farms and all the other wonderful sights and then I will go and find Hollyhill see if there is a Bed and Breakfast and hang out there for a week.  I like the Brooke family.  I like the town.  I like Ms. Gabhart’s writing.  I like the plot which I am not going to tell you about except that these people coming to town are about to upset everyone.  Ms. Gabhart has written a wonderful story full of interesting characters that we come to know and love as we read through the book.  Ms. Gabhart does a great job of making us feel that we are there in Hollyhill and living the events rather than just reading about them.  I am sorry that this series is ending.  I would really like more stories about the Brookes and everyone else in town. 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.”
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
A cute release from Gabhart! I have not had the pleasure to read the previous books in this series, but I did very much enjoy getting to know the Brooke family. It was hard for me to get into the book at first due to the frequent head jumping early on. Thankfully, this got better as the book continued. I'm glad I stuck to it. I cannot say this was a favorite though. Jocie is probably my favorite part about this novel. She's so endearing, cute, and determined. Leigh is my next favorite, a very close second to Jocie. Leigh's sweet disposition and kind spirit made her incredibly likable from the beginning. I didn't feel quite as connected with the other characters. This might be because I haven't read the others in the series. Again this hardly is a favorite, but I love the homey feel Gabhart brings to the settings in each of her novels. It's a similar thread in her stories, one I'm quite fond of. Oh, as a quick note, I thought Hammond was a complete stalker-ish creep, though I suppose that is what Gabhart was going for. I hope we will see more of Hollyhill and the Brooke family before too long. I recommend this book to readers fourteen and older and especially to those looking for a comfortable read. I received this book from Revell in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Return to Hollyhill! Jocie Brooke is a freshman in high school, her older sister a new mom, and her father is smitten by a younger woman who appears to share his feelings. David is ready to ask Leigh to marry him, but embarrassed about the small size of his mother's diamond. Leigh wasn't worrying over a diamond. She was more concerned about David's feelings about being older than she. Other challenges are about to veil the size of the diamond. Shadows from the past and a newcomer to town become the clouds of the future.  This is the third book in a series set back in the 1960s in a small town called Hollyhill. The Brooke family is the focus of these stories, and the activities in small town America are typical of the time period. Prejudices still remain and gossip is a common activity. The setting is quaint and the characters are varied and colorful. The development of the characters throughout this series and in this concluding book is commendable. Ann Gabhart has a wonderful talent for creating a great cast of characters and making the reader a part of Hollyhill and sharing all of the activities therein.  If you're looking for an engaging, satisfying and unpredictable story of family and love, mystery and intrigue, wit and comedic events, Summer of Joy will satisfy your quest. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and felt very much a part of the story as I traveled back in time to my own high school years along with Jocie. Grab a copy of this book and relax with a pot of tea. You're in for some great surprises once again. Ann Gabhart is a specialist at creating a warm and sensitive novel. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
Comfort Food of the book world!  When I read Ann Gabhart's Small Town Girl, I wanted to run away to Rosey Corner. I wanted to be a clerk at the store where Kate Merritt worked and to go possum hunting with my hound dog and to eat brown sugar pie with Birdie.  Now Ann Gabhart has given me another place for mental retreat, in Hollyhill. Oh how I wish I could move to Hollyhill, or transplant its good citizens to my town. There is an awesome cast of characters in Summer of Joy.  They are complete with loss, learning, loneliness, tenderness, new beginnings and happiness.  Zella, what a hoot she is! A reader of fantastically imaginative romance novels, with a flair for constructive meddling in her neighbors lives. She keeps the ship sailing and she knows that the town couldn't live without her.  Wes, oh dear Wes. May I adopt him as Grandfather the way Jocie did? I see why she attached herself to this soft-spoken, motorcycle riding, white-haired, zany-story-telling man. This book begins with Wes getting "dunked"- baptized in a nearly frozen Redbone river. He's so glad to be able to profess his faith that he doesn't even care if his ears freeze and fall off. And I loved his Jupiter stories.  And Jocie herself, our thoughtful and inquisitive girl who feels life with all its textures and absorbs it into her soul, then saves it with her words.  And Tabitha, Jocie's sister, who is mothering her precious baby son and helping Jocie understand the things that happen with the adults around them. Both girls are finding their path amidst 60's upheaval and family changes, and Iit is Tabitha who explains why their Father needs to remarry...  Which brings us to their father David and his love, Leigh. A good man with a sad first marriage and a dear woman, and they both feel like God crafted them perfectly to be with the other.  Ann Gabhart's novels are the comfort food of the book world: warm and rich and full and flavorful, and nourishing as well. Whether you pick up Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, or Summer of Joy, you're in for a great experience.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This is a book that took me a few chapters to really get into but once the book grabbed me I didn’t want it to let me go. There are many different characters in this story and you will be in the head of a lot of them. It think that’s why it took me a while to get into it, the first few chapters I was in a different person’s head and didn’t connect with any of them right away. This is the third book in a series and there are a few references to things that took place in the other books but once I got a grasp on what was happening in this book I had no problem absorbing this charming set of characters and the intriguing plot. I really liked the mystery behind Mr. Hammond who is Jocie’s English teacher and seems to have it out for her and have a thing for Leigh, David’s (Jocie’s dad) girlfriend/fiancé. What’s going on with him? Why does he seem to be targeting Jocie and her family? Then there are people from the past who have the potential to show up in Hollyhill and shake things up. What will happen to the characters we have come to love once they come and bring their baggage with them? This story is full of broken people who need a Savior. God’s grace is all over this book and great example of how each of us need to extend that grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
LitWinner More than 1 year ago
I did not read the second book of the series, Orchard of Hope, but realized that I quickly found out all of the information I needed to know.  That may be my only complaint about this book - it seems to make book #2 irrelevant.  I almost think I would have just been fine with this one being the second book. Anyway, on to the good stuff!  Once again, Hollyhill, Kentucky, is still in the fairly innocent 60's, so we are treated to a glimpse of a past that we will probably never see again.  Jocie is a 14 year old girl but isn't interested in boys.  This is something that's probably pretty rare nowadays but I enjoy seeing it in Jocie. There is a dark side to this book, where such unhappy things such as cancer and stalking strike the residents of Hollyhill.  However, they can't ruin the wonderfully happy ending on of this book, no matter how hard they try. I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first one.  It just seemed destined for a happy ending, no matter what roadblocks occurred.  This is one of those books where you know what's going to happen but you don't mind.  The fun is seeing how the characters get there and what they have to go through to find their joy. I would love to read more about the Brooke family (all of it) but as of now, there aren't any more books.  I hope that someday Gabhart returns to this series and crafts more stories for these lovely characters, even if the story skips a number of years between installments. This book was sent to me in order to provide a review.  This did not influence my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.
PennyFM More than 1 year ago
Ann Gabhart spins a pleasing tale of family, love, and small town life in Summer of Joy. Set in the 1960s while men go to Vietnam and the Beetles sing about love, David balances work, a congregation and an eclectic family. Leigh loves David and wants more than anything to join his lovable clan.  Hollyhill is full of quirky and lovable characters layered with lives of complication, compassion, and faith. From young Jocie, the local archivist and wanna be journalist to Zella, romance reader and top notch Christian, readers will love the entertaining story lines as the folks are intertwined in each others’ lives. I enjoyed stepping back in time to slower pace. Grab a cup of coffee and slip into this touching story sprinkled with comedy and suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Summer of Joy by Ann H. Gabhart - A Book Review      When I was working time to read for pleasure was in short supply, so I tended to play it safe with authors I knew and loved. One of the best things about retirement is having the time to meet and spend time with authors that are new to me.  I was thrilled to spend time with Ann Gabhart in the pages of her book, Summer of Joy.  Now I was a little concerned about reading book three of The Heart of Hollyhill series without having read books one and two, but there was no need to be.  The story was easy to follow and enjoy, with just enough references to the previous books to provide necessary information and to motivate me to read those books in the future.        Hollyhill, Kentucky, the setting of this story, is a small town where everyone knows what is going on with everyone else.  In the 1960s it is still a town where children can safely roam free (well most of the time).  It is also a town where emotions and secrets run deep, and where they can be brought to the surface by a returning former resident as well as some new characters in  town.  It is a town that protects and nurtures its own, and those it adopts as its own.  It is peopled by those who know how to forgive, and those who don’t, and by some who don’t even realize the need.  It is a town slowly changing as the world around it changes, beginning to see the similarities more than the differences among its people, but also experiencing the accompanying growing pains.  It is a town where people are working to get a right and accurate view of themselves and of God.        Character development is one of the things that Ann Gabhart does best.  She fills Hollyhill with a cast of quirky characters: those that are down to earth, those that have been earthed (You’ll have to read the book to understand that one.), those with their heads in the heavens, and those whose heads may be just a bit scrambled.  As I read the thought kept coming to mind that fans of Jan Karon’s Mitford series would love Summer of Joy. David, pastor of Mt. Pleasant church, and Leigh’s romance is reminiscent of Father Tim and Cynthia’s.  Wesley Green’s stories of life on Jupiter made me want to return to Mitford and visit with Uncle Billy and some of the other eccentric characters who reside there.  They also made me want to get the first two books in Gabhart’s Hollyhill series so that I could join Wes and his young friend and surrogate granddaughter, Josie, David’s teenage daughter, on their adventures.       I believe that Summer of Joy will appeal to a wide audience.  Young adult readers will identify with Jocie and her coming of age story.   Young wives and mothers will be touched by Tabitha and Leigh’s stories, and the love they have for those they nurture along with the insecurities they feel.  Older readers will enjoy reminiscing about a time gone by, and will be touched by the wisdom as well as the frailties that come with age.  All will enjoy the ebb and flow as Gabhart builds and releases tension as her story unfolds.  Tensions are bound to be present when the first wife, who abandoned her husband and young daughter, is headed back to town, as her former husband and his fiancé make plans.  They are bound to be present when a teacher takes an immediate dislike to one of his students, and when that same teacher sets his sights on her father’s fiancé.  Tensions mount when someone oversteps her bounds and sets off a series of events related to a past her co-worker prefers to forget.  Tensions will mount as you read this book, the kind that readers love, the kind that keep them reading.   Thank you to Revell, the publisher, for sending me a copy of Summer Joy for my honest opinion of the book.    
booksandwindows More than 1 year ago
I’m going to get straight to the point– I did not like this book.  I wanted to like it, I tried to like it, but I did not even finish it. Where I Stopped: Chapter 10, page 78 I’m sure you’re wondering why, so I shall try my best to explain my reasons for putting this book down. Typically, the first few chapters will tell you a lot about the book you are reading, and what your reading experience will be like. This book did not interest me at all; there was no hook. First, there were too many characters. I couldn’t figure out who’s who, and it was confusing. Second, the plot. I couldn’t see what the story arc was. Is seemed to be going nowhere. It just didn’t grab my attention. Finally, mix in a little Jupiter, and I was lost as a reader. I felt completely unconnected to any of the characters, and the plot felt like it wasn’t there. I wasn’t invested in the story. BUT Just because I didn’t enjoy this book, doesn’t mean you won’t. If you like this author, series, the sixties, or books with a large, family-like cast of characters, you will like this book. I was provided a free e-copy (through NetGalley) of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to Revell and the Revell Reads program for providing me a copy of the book for review. Disclaimer: I struggled to write this review, and I hesitate to share my opinion, as it is a negative one. However, because I am required to write a review for Revell’s program, I must honestly share my thoughts.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
This story follows a young teenage girl’s family as day-to-day drama ensues. The girl’s father is a preach and part-time journalist. Given the family’s poor state of financial affairs, she works after school with her father on the local newspaper. The preacher is divorced and plans to remarry a young blond woman. The two are madly in love, but things get a bit complicated when the protagonist’s English teacher starts hitting on and stalking her father’s soon-to-be new bride. More drama comes in when a minor character gets a visit form a long-lost grandson. This book has a lot of “country talk” and a lot of Christian undertones. While the back cover did not allude to it, there is a big Christmas theme in this book.