Until the Harvest

Until the Harvest

by Sarah Loudin Thomas


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Take This Journey of Broken Souls Restored and Tentative Hearts Brought Fully to Life

When family tragedy derails Henry Phillips's college studies, he's left unmoored and feeling abandoned. The only things that can tamp down his grief are the family farm, his fiddle, and an unexpected friendship with sweet but unusual preteen Mayfair Hoffman.

Unfortunately, Mayfair's older sister, Margaret, despite her spray of freckles and cute, turned-up nose, has a completely different effect. His grandmother's helper, she's always around, ready to push his buttons, and it seems at first that she doesn't care about his troubles.

Henry soon realizes, though, that Margaret's facing her own struggles. Mayfair's health and unique gift sit at the heart of those worries. Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as potential tragedy collides with growing hope in a warm story of family bonds and the surprising ways healing finds us all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764212260
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/05/2015
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 641,575
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children's ministry, who has also written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. Her debut novel was Miracle in a Dry Season. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at www.sarahloudinthomas.com.

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Until the Harvest 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Heather06 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, especially when I realized it was the second in a series. I loved Miracle in a Dry Season and to go on with those characters was a nice surprise. This book has so many lessons. I wanted to shake Henry quite a few times. I could understand his heartache and did wonder why his mother didn't talk to him. I recognized the teenager in him from watching my kids. It ended so well, reminding me that as long as you raise your children right, they will return to you. I received a free copy of this book for my honest review. I was not paid for my review.
StellaPotts77 More than 1 year ago
I didn't read the first book in this series (Miracle in a Dry Season), however that did not take away from this book at all. No problem understanding the characters or what is going on in their lives. Sarah Loudin Thomas has written a novel that is very realistic and conversations flow naturally and the language is very up with the times in which the story set. I can emphasize with Margaret as she feels like she is not pretty and will never find love. And I can also understand Henry as he searches for his place in life and falls in love. This is a beautiful story of love and loss and finding God's will for your life.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest is Book 2 of Applachian Blessings. Book 1 was Miracle in a Dry Place. This book is easily read as a stand alone. It concerns two young adults as they struggle with their identity. It is thoughtful, emotional, and full of love and faith. The characters are unforgettable and find a place in your heart. The secondary characters are just as lovable as the primary ones. I received this book from the BookClub Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a charming story of two young people, searching for meaning in their lives. Henry Phillips struggles with the direction his life should take. His father wants him to get an ag degree, and he feels drawn to playing music. His father’s sudden death confuses him, and he makes some unfortunate choices. He has two strong, faith-filled women—his mother and his grandmother—who continue to influence and support him. Margaret is a capable, strong young woman who lacks confidence in her appearance and her appeal to the opposite sex. Her home life leaves much to be desired with an aloof, uncaring mother who withdraws into alcohol and a father who is too occupied with his business, leaving Margaret and her sister to their mother’s whims. Her younger sister has severe diabetes, and Margaret is the one who cares for her. The growing friendship between Henry and Margaret enables them to rely on each other and to work toward a common goal—the success of Henry’s grandmother’s farm. The supporting cast of characters add humor and interest to a plot that entertains and teaches faith-based lessons. I recommend this book. I want to read more of this author. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest is the continuing story to Sarah Loudin Thomas’s first book Miracle in a Dry Season. You do not need to read the first to enjoy this companion novel however I was glad I did as I had a much deeper connection with the town and the Phillip’s family. Starting off with a bit of a shocker for me, I was not sure how this story could redeem itself. But in Ms. Thomas’s very capable hands I was able to close the book at the very last page with a deep sigh of satisfaction. This story deals with grief and the consequences of our actions especially when we did not make the right choices. It is a coming of age story, and I must point out that the two matriarchs, Perla and Emily Phillip’s, handled some of the situations in this book in a fantastic loving manner. This is not an instant love story, but shows the growth and maturing of the characters. I also really liked the definition of family, especially when yours has written you off. Just like the first, this one has a touch of supernatural which was very interesting to watch and the explanation for it was pure and simple. I received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest is the second novel in the Appalachian Blessings series. Although this story follows Miracle in a Dry Season, taking place years later and revisiting the Phillips family, you certainly don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this novel. Sarah Loudin Thomas once again brings to life the history and people of Appalachia. This novel boasts a colorful cast of characters and centers around family dynamics and drama. As residents of this small West Virginia town grapple with tragedy and hardships, a special little girl offers hope and healing. Until the Harvest is another unique story that shares real-life issues and supernatural gifts. Fans of the Appalachian Blessings series are sure to enjoy this latest addition. If you haven’t read this series and would like to get started, it begins with a free e-novella, Appalachian Serenade. I received a complimentary copy of Until the Harvest in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
Great book! I have read the previous one, Miracle in a Dry Season, and thought this one was even better. And it does stand-alone, but was fun to read after the first. Until the Harvest takes place some 20 years later. Henry Phillips is chafing from the rules his parents are giving him because he would rather play the fiddle and party then study at college – and then his world turns upside down when his father dies unexpectedly. Will he be abler to come to his senses or is he heading down a bad path? Margaret is Henry's grandmother's helper. She cleans, does farm work - basically anything to help, keep her younger sister Mayfair with her and to stay away from home where she is unloved. Margaret is drawn to Henry, even though all he sees of her are her freckles and plainness. But as he spends more time with her, he is drawn to her and her sister. I found Margaret a difficult character to get to know but by the end I felt such sympathy for her rough road. At one point she completely reminded me of Martha in the Bible – always serving. I also loved Frank and Angie, the now ninety year old newly weds, especially when they give advice to Henry. This was such an enjoyable book.I highly recommend it!! I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed revisiting characters from the first book in this series (Miracle in a Dry Season), but I have to say, Casewell's son Henry is so clueless! He allows his grief and the varying emotions that accompany it derail him from his planned future, and he comes to regret his poor choices- some he's actually embarrassed about, and others he just considers a close call. I felt like his grandmother and mother, Emily and Perla, as I shook my head over him. Margaret is a little lost as well, but since she's the most responsible caretaker of her little sister, she focuses on hard work and serving others as she discovers God's will for her life. There are also themes similar to the ones found in Miracle in a Dry Season such as the sweetness and love of a child transforming a hard and bitter man, grief over the loss of loved ones, uncertainty over one's future, and hesitancy at the opportunity for love. (Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Robbi44 More than 1 year ago
Every family faces family crisis and tragedy many times during a lifetime of living together. Sometimes those tragedies strengthen a family while other times they seem to tear a family apart. This story involves three families all facing one kind of crisis or another. While home from college for Christmas break, Henry Phillips’s father suddenly died of a heart attack leaving Henry angry and overwhelmed with what to do regarding his future. He couldn’t accept returning to school as the solution and seemed to lose his perspective as to what is right and wrong by looking in the wrong places to earn money to help his mom with financial needs. His life and goals seemed to move in a downward spiral as more negative events bombarded him because of his poor choices. Both his mother, Perla, and Emily, his grandmother, were strong, loving women. They kept the family together when the evidence could tear it apart. During the time of the Phillips family struggles, Grandma Emily took in Margaret Hoffman, a young woman caring for her little, diabetic sister, Mayfair. The Hoffman girls suffered from feelings of “never being good enough” and just plain being “a bother” to their dominant “social” mother. Their father did not have any “backbone” to stand up to his wife, but found it easier not to make waves and instead, do whatever she wanted. The third family woven into this story is the Simmons family. Clint, the father, carried anger throughout his life over the death of his first wife which reflected in his attitude toward his sons and present, sick wife, Beulah. Both Clint and his sons didn’t seem to know or understand what family love means. The author brought many true-to-life situations and emotions to this story that families everywhere face every day. She wound the concept of love for others into the core of this book. She confirmed that people need to rely on each other and ultimately, rely on God for the answers to life’s challenges and heartaches. This book will elicit a full span of emotions from its readers – anger, pity, sadness, hope, and joy – and possibly even identification with some of the family struggles. I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is a very simple small town story. I thoroughly enjoyed my return visit to Wise, West Virginia. Though this is book 2 in a series the story can be read and enjoyed even if you haven’t read the first book. Twenty years have passed but a number of the characters are still present, though obviously older. Any of the important details from the first book are explained at the appropriate time. If you have already read book one it only adds to the enjoyment of this one though. Margaret Hoffman carries a load of doubt as to her own worth from her childhood. This colors everything she does and her relationships with the people around her. It is wonderful to see how she grows over the course of the story. Henry Phillips’ whole world is turned topsy-turvy very early on in the story. Everything he thought was important is in a complete upheaval. He is sent on a journey to discover what he wants from life. Both of them are also trying to figure out who God is and does He care about them and what they do. They are surrounded with a number of very wise people to counsel them and help them find the direction that they need. Some of these sources of counsel are a heartwarming surprise. This book was a delight to read and the slow pace of life and the joy that many of the characters found in simple things was very refreshing. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
This novel, much like the first in the series, has a unique style of story – a soft blend of faith amidst loss, pain, doubt, and sin. The rural community paints a sweet and realistic backdrop for the characters, each of whom have their own unique charm. It's a coming-of-age story for both Henry and Margaret, complete with its moments of bruises as well as blessings. It read like a journey, as any book worth its salt should. However, it progressed at a slow pace for me. At times it felt like there wasn't much happening beyond the normal life day-to-day stuff. I liked the characters, especially young Mayfair, but I didn't see as much growth in them as I would have liked. The romantic feelings between Henry and Margaret didn't really show up until the later half and I struggled connecting to their relationship at that point. The obstacles they faced though were interesting. I had not expected those little twists. I think readers and fans of "Miracle in a Dry Season" will enjoy seeing many of the characters return in "Until the Harvest". The miraculous and mysterious aspects of the first book show up again in this book in a fresh and different way. You'll have to check it out. I enjoyed it.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
"Closing the bedroom door, Margaret walked into the family room and found Henry standing with his head down and shoulders slumped.   She'd heard he was in from college but hadn't seen him.  Normally, she wouldn't be seeing him now.   Emily always insisted on doing for herself over holidays so Margaret could be with her family.   Not that she much enjoyed being with her family, except, of course, with Mayfair.  Her sweet little sister was always a bright spot."           I was born in 1961 and so I was a young teenager when this story was set in Wise, West Virginia in 1975.   I am a native Virginian and so West Virginia is of course our neighbor to the west.   Those two things....the place and the year stirred enough memory within me that it made me want to read this novel.   My husband got married for the first time in 1975 and was a young man in the Air Force.   Many issues the main male character, Henry, encountered made me think of Harry and wonder if he experienced any similar feelings or occurences.  I love historical romance novels also and that created another reason for me to desire to read and review this book.          I was not disappointed.   The book had a slow pace to it but it was fitting with the times and the things that were going on in the characters' lives so I made me want to keep on reading....not what you generally think of when you hear a book has a "slow pace".   Margaret does not seem to recognize her own beauty and sees only flaws and I felt this way a great deal of the time myself....especially during the late 70's.   I grew up in a small rural town that was also known for its slow pace as well.   It all just kind of "took me back in time" to recall some similar situations for myself, family members and friends as I read.          During this time period, many fathers also held the view that a career in one of the arts would not create enough income to support a family as Henry's father expressed to him.   Can Henry follow his heart and his dreams or will he need to rethink his plans?   Is Henry's father correct in his assumptions?   Can a small town be the place to follow one's dreams or must one live in a large city for that?  Read Until the Harvest and find the answers to these and other questions that are sure to crop up.          I rate this book 5 stars and would love to recommend it to fellow readers.       I received a kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest, book 2 Appalachian Blessings**** by Sarah Loudin Thomas While Henry Phillips is away at college studying agriculture, his father dies suddenly leaving Henry bereft and unsure of his next step. The only place he finds peace is at his grandmother's farm or playing his fiddle. Looking for answers, angry and at loose ends, Henry makes some bad choices. These choices may bring quick, easy money but things soon become more than he bargained for. One bright spot is the unexpected friendship with sweet preteen Mayfair Hoffman, but he is not too sure about her sister Margaret. Margaret is facing struggles of her own, Mayfair's health for one and her life-long family problems. Margaret loves working for Henry's grandmother and takes Mayfair with her whenever she can. If only she could somehow stay at the farm, along with Mayfair, and not have to go home. As Henry and Margaret get to know each other better and learn about the hurts they both have in their lives, they begin to form a friendship. But unexpected surprising events could tear that fragile friendship apart. I found Mayfair a charming young lady, who has the same effect on other characters in the story. Margaret was a bit stiff at first, but then she had a hard life and was trying her best to overcome all the hurts and pain in her life. But she grew on me as the story developed. I think she was really searching for someone to love her, unconditionally. I wanted to have a talk with Henry and lead him away from some of the choices he made in his grief, and was glad to see him “wake-up” and realize the path he was on. I loved the 90 year old couple and their sweet love story. It was great to see Henry and Margaret finally realize that God loves them unconditionally and they turn to Him for direction in their lives. ~~I received a copy of this book from TBCN for my honest review~~
DTChantel More than 1 year ago
I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads "First Reads" giveaway and when I received my copy in the mail, I intended to glance through it and start reading it later that night. That plan went south the minute I read the first paragraph, as I was immediately absorbed into the world of Margaret, Henry, Emily, Perla and Mayfair. Reading this book is like taking a long deep breath at the end of a satisfying day, sitting on the back porch of your cozy home with a glass of sweet iced tea at your side and having a long chat with your dearest friends. I found myself rooting for poor Henry as he made one wrong turn after another because I knew at heart he was a good man, he just lost his direction in the wake of a family tragedy. I held my breath each time Mayfair experienced issues with her diabetic condition and my heart went out to Margaret, as she experienced all the pain, heartache and sadness of a life lived without parental love, guidance and acceptance. I have not read any of Sarah Loudin Thomas's previous books, but you can bet I'll be reading them all now. After closing the final page, which has a scene that left tears in my eyes, I felt like the first thing I wanted to do is move to Wise, WV and put down roots. Since this book was set in the 70s, there was a nostalgic ambiance to the book anyway, but I really felt saddened by the fact that those old days, and such an innocent way of life, are gone forever. But they don't have to be, as long as we have more stellar books like this from Ms. Thomas.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Sarah Loudin Thomas' writing with her debut novel Miracle in a Dry Season. The story centered around Casewell & Perla Phillips before they were married. I became so attached to the characters and looked forward to reading about what they had been up to since the closing chapter. In Thomas' newest novel, Until the Harvest, we get to see where the people of Wise, West Virginia have been and continue our acquaintance with these complex citizens. The story begins on New Year's Eve of 1975. With the opening lines we are introduced to Casewell and Perla's son Henry. Henry is a talented fiddle player and takes any opportunity he can to play and earn a bit of extra cash. In fact Henry loves playing the fiddle so much that he has decided to put that first ahead of his college studies. This causes a bit of a rift with his parents but when a tragedy unexpectedly strikes the Phillips family all thoughts of music and college are put on the back-burner.   We're also introduced to Margaret Hoffman and her sister Mayfair. Margaret is a part-time housekeeper for Emily Phillips, Henry's grandmother. Margaret and Mayfair come from a stressful home and find solace in spending as much time as possible at Emily's house. Mayfair is a quiet soft-spoken girl that Margaret does all she can to protect. In the town of Wise there is much healing that needs to take place, both physically and spiritually. It is soon discovered that Mayfair has somewhat of a gift of healing. But the gift comes at a great cost to Mayfair.  I am holding my breath and crossing my fingers that this story line continues on into several more novels. There are so many people that I would love to know more about. Thomas' writing style is engaging and allows you to step into the story as if you were a bystander in each scene. The setting is unique and I enjoy the way that the author allows the idiosyncrasies of the place and dialect of the people to come through without it becoming a mockery of the native residents. If you like Jan Karon novels I think you may be interested in this set of stories as well. Start with the novella Appalachian Serenade that sets the stage for Miracle in a Dry Season. You'll fall in love with some lovable and eccentric people like Frank Post and the Talbot sisters. You'll also discover what it is like to live in a small town. The good, the bad and most importantly the love and concern shown to neighbors and friends. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
BeautifulExcellentBooks More than 1 year ago
I am excited to have found this excellent writer! Until the Harvest is a masterful illustration of how hearts and lives are transformed through continued offers of friendship, food and forgiveness. It is a story of family, community, relationships and love; the hardships that they cause; and the beauty that only people can bring to our lives. In the early chapters, I admit that I became impatient with the pace of the action and the simplicity of some characters. But I always looked forward to evenings spent in this community, often reading too far into the night. I appreciated how Sarah Loudin Thomas gradually revealed the nature of each character, and transformation. The subtle ways that the story changed me were a pleasant surprise. What I loved the most was how the author, through the characters, showed affection even for the antagonists, the ones hardest to tolerate in the story, the ones who seemed to be evil to the core. The faith of a few characters is revealed naturally and subtly in only a few places in the story. I liked that. It is refreshing to see genuine glimpses of their hearts, without characters being overly verbose, emotional or heavy-handed about their beliefs. I found the farm setting an especially welcome mental retreat from living a fast-paced urban life filled with so many inconsequential time-wasting activities. Although it created an uncomfortable longing in me for a rural lifestyle I knew I was unlikely to ever live, it allowed me to have a taste of that kind of world. I found the tone of the book to be realistic, yet comforting and safe. It is a true book. It could happen anywhere. People can be cruel for no apparent reason, selfishly deceitful, and manipulating to the point of ruining people’s lives and relationships. But, as we see in Until the Harvest, the power of friendship toward just those people is miraculous. [Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.]
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
“Gotta have faith.” Until the Harvest (Appalachian Blessings Book #2) By: Sarah Loudin Thomas This was a truly touching book. There was so much heartache, pain, determination, love and devotion going on in this truly wonderful story. It is a moderate paced book. Giving you the chance to read and enjoy this story. There was some super natural in this story. I did enjoy the deep down underlying faith throughout the book. A good read. 4 stars
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a beautiful story set in the 1970’s. Although it follows Miracle in Dry Season, I was able to follow the storyline very easily even though I had not read that book first. The writing is extremely well done and I was caught up in the story by the first chapter. Until the Harvest tells the story of a young man, Henry Phillips, a college boy who finds himself at home for the holidays when tragedy strikes. He could be described as a spoiled brat who is used to doing what he wants, when he wants. Lost in his own sorrow, anger and feelings of abandonment, Henry goes from one bad choice to another until he finds himself staring at a huge mess in his life. It’s also the story of a young woman who is unloved and unwanted. The oldest daughter in a wealthy family, Margaret is used to not living up to her mother’s standards. Her solace is her little sister, Mayfair. Mayfair’s gifting makes her special in many ways and it’s her unique way of loving people that allows her to do things beyond most people’s understanding. I would absolutely recommend Until the Harvest and give it five out of five stars. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review which I’ve provided here.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
Sarah Loudin Thomas is an excellent writer. She takes an ordinary story and makes it extraordinary. Until The Harvest is a story about Casewell and Perla's son, Henry. This is a story about healing in the midst of great tragedy. It is well thought out and written. I loved reading from both Margaret and Henry's point of view. I was intrigued by the story from beginning to end. Henry's character resonated deeply with me. When tragedy happens in life, who do you turn to? Henry struggles to come to terms with his grief, making poor choices and hurting those he loves until he realizes that God is still in control and turns to Him for help and counsel. Margaret is dealing with a life time of hurt brought on by her family. Both Henry and Margaret struggle to figure out what true and lasting love is. With the help of Margaret's sister, Mayfair, the story does have a happy ending. The message of the story, I think, is rooted in love. God's love for us is everlasting and eternal. He wants what's best for us, even when we don't know what that is and try to turn away or not trust Him. Mayfair helps each of the characters in the story realize that what they need is love. Not just love of each other, but eternal love that will last "until the harvest." Overall, I enjoyed this book. If you haven't read Sarah Loudin Thomas before, I highly recommend her other two books, Appalachian Serenade and Miracle In A Dry Season.  *I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Bethany House Blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The genuine characters and simple plot of Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas make for an affecting story of love, loss, and renewal. Once again, Thomas has written a touching story of diverse people trying to make the best of everyday life and struggles. I really liked Margaret with her quiet strength. Margaret works for an elderly widow Emily and looks after her diabetic younger sister. When tension at home with her parents become unbearable, Margaret chooses to make her own way.  As Margaret struggles to provide for herself and Mayfair, she frequently crosses paths with Henry, grandson of her employer. Henry has dropped out of school and decided that he no longer wants to pursue his parents’ plan for him. When unexpected tragedy descends on his family, Henry struggles to find the best path for his future.  As Margaret and Henry struggle to find their own ways, they gradually learn that prejudices and unyielding opinions do not heal. In a poignant story of loss and renewal, author Sarah Thomas shows us that acceptance and love bring lasting healing that changes hearts and lives. Although the plot of Until the Harvest is less intense than many novels, it was still a delightful, touching read. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas for my candid review.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Until the Harvest is the second full length book in the Appalachian Blessings series. This one takes place some twenty years or so after the first book, and can definitely be read as a stand alone. Once again, the author has crafted a story that is very unique. The time period of the seventies and the setting of an Appalachian community in West Virginia is one that I haven’t visited much. I thought this book had a good pace to it and I found myself hoping that the main character, Henry, would wake up and begin making better decisions! The author does a great job of exposing frailties. These community members that the reader gets to know in both of her stories have real hang ups that must be overcome. The characters have a lot of growing to do, and even at the end of the story, I found myself hoping that Henry truly appreciated the blessings he had and the love he was given. This book was full of interesting characters, conflict to be worked through, growth in the understanding of God’s love for everyone, and a bit of romance. My thanks to Bethany House for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
What a delightful novel! This was a very interesting and easy to read book. Although I normally read inspirational suspense, this book caught my attention from the first page. Sarah Loudin Thomas is a very talented author, and I look forward to reading more books by her. Henry Phillips comes home from college after a family tragedy hits. Henry is "trying to find himself" and goes through many different bad choices in his life. While he is experiencing all these "choices" he becomes friends with a very special girl named Mayfair. Mayfair is very unique young girl. Her older sister, Margaret, is Henry's grandmother's caretaker. Margaret has her own struggles, and she is trying to deal with them. Throughout the book, Henry and Margaret are both "trying to find their own" and learning to like each other. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Henry Phillips is angry. His beloved father died suddenly and Henry is not sure who to blame – his father, his mother, or God. To top that off, Henry cannot decide what his future holds. Should he return to college, stay and help his family on the farm, try to make a living as a musician, or earn quick money running moonshine. Margaret works for Henry’s grandmother. There is little love in her life except for her younger sister, Mayfair, who must be carefully watched so she does not go into a diabetic coma. Interestingly, Mayfair seems to have a special healing gift which she uses to help those in need. Is there any chance for a “happily ever after” for these hurting characters? This is my third visit to Wise, WV. I was charmed by the author’s first book, Miracle in Dry Season so I was very happy when a prequel novella, Appalachian Serenade, came out for tablet only. The three stories trace different relations of the Phillips family. It is a warm story with lovely, believable characters. While Until the Harvest can be read as a stand-alone book, I would not want to miss out on the backstory. There are some references to the first book which would not be fully understood without reading the previous books. It is certainly time well spent to read these stories. I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Monday, May 18, 2015 Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas, © 2015 Appalachian Blessings Summary: "In 1970s West Virginia, a family tragedy derails Henry Phillips's college studies, and he returns home to Appalachia feeling devastated and desperate. Can a sweet and unique young girl and her older sister help him find his way again?"–– Provided by publisher. My novels are all about Appalachian blessings--the people, places, qualities, and kindnesses of my favorite place on earth. ––author Sarah Loudin Thomas My Review: My heart goes out to Henry. He needs to find the right way and not wallow in the depths of sadness and a longing for what does not satisfy who he is. Henry, don't let darkness pull you over. I want to encourage Margaret to continue to be all she can be. I sorrow for Mayfair; for not being allowed to fully see all that can be before her in the giftings she has been given ~ not held back from joy. Rise above all of the destruction and lack of hope portrayed before you. Each day is new, fresh, and bright for you. We are cheered on to be released from chains of the past, and like these characters in Until the Harvest, may we grow and shed the chaff that wants to imbed and disable all that is available to our todays. A slippery slope in just one more time, Henry is watched over and prodded to return to a life that can be his. There is no easy way to try to grasp a life without repercussion when it has to be hidden from those who love us. Steady plodding is the best way, the sure way, having a clear focus on what is ahead; not being deceived by the lives of others that pull us away to choices we would rather not make. Henry doesn't want to appear to be chicken, or different, even though he knows a better way. Life is going on around him ~ Margaret is moving into his great-grandmother's house. Somehow, that stings him a little. Like belonging. The little gray house, when times were easier. "There's not having anyone to talk to, and then there's not talking to the ones you've got. You make sure you know which is which." --Until the Harvest, 181 Life intermingles from generation to generation. How much has come before affects where we are going. Face what you're up against head on. Truth revealed. "God only called one man to build an ark, Henry. Whatever His purpose is for you, it's different from anyone else's. You ponder on what makes you feel satisfied. that ought to at least point you in the right direction." --Ibid., 240 Well, I will leave you with hopes that Henry finds his greatest heart's desire. You will enjoy Until the Harvest as the characters learn to "do the next thing." Love this ~ shared so many times by Elisabeth Elliot Gren in her ministering. Poem: Do the Next Thing Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children's ministry, who has also written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. Her debut novel was Miracle in a Dry Season. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at her website. ***Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for inviting me to review Sarah Loudin Thomas' newest release, Until the Harvest. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
“Until the Harvest” takes place in Appalachia in the 1970’s and drops us right into a family situation in the first pages.  Henry wants to focus more on his music and his parents think school should come first. Henry leaves the house upset  and looking for some old school friends to spend New Year's Eve with.. When Henry wakes up on New Year's Day he  finds his dad has passed away in his sleep. We then follow Henry through the anger, heartache, and rebellion of losing a parent so suddenly. Henry goes through a stage of rebellion that will find him running moonshine, an unexpected  pregnancy with a girl he's only know in a drunken night out and disappointing his mother, grandmother and friends  with his actions. I really enjoyed the realistic settings of the mountains, the family farm, the family and church. I enjoyed this look into the live's of the Phillip's family and those close to them. I would recommend this. I found it to be a family drama with some touching moments of heartbreak and rejoicing that will stay with you long after the last page. I was gifted a copy by Bethany House  Publishers for my honest opinion which I have given.