An Appalachian Summer

Reviewed by:

Cindy Akre



An Appalachian Summer


Ann Gabhart








246 pages


The story follows a young woman, Piper Danson, who is in her 20s when the Depression hits. Many of her friends lost family fortunes, but her family’s fortune is left intact. Her mother insists she makes her “debut” in society.  Piper isn’t interested but goes along, even though she is torn with the losses she sees around her.  She is also faced with the prospect of a marriage based on business connections arranged by her father. And though she likes Braxton, an arranged marriage does not sit well with her.  Her true love is the boy who grew up alongside her, Jamie.  But since Jamie’s family fortune collapsed, Piper’s dad does not view him as a good match.

At the urging of her Aunt Truda, Piper asserts her desire to take off a summer to volunteer at a nursing center in the Appalachian mountains, something so different from her privileged life. The story contains the miscommunications and misunderstandings that add tension to the storyline, especially when Jamie makes a trip to the center to do an interview with the founder. He also desires to make his feelings clear to Piper, something he didn’t do prior to her departure. But the welcome isn’t what he would have liked. And he understands Braxton could give Piper a more secure life.  The book almost becomes comical with some of the adventures, yet the author gives an accurate perspective on life for the mountain people during the 1930s.  

Though we can sometimes see plot twists coming, the book is delightful. We are also challenged by some of the dialogue in the book relating to how we can discern God’s call on our lives and how we treat others based on that call. And we cheer for Piper as she comes to terms on her views of marriage and the two men pursuing her.


Rating (1 to 5):


Suggested Audience:

Appropriate for high school through adult. 

Christian Impact:

There were several references done often as part of dialogue, very well done. how we view God’s call on our lives and how we treat others based on that call.

An Appalachian Summer

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