Lovely and kind, Henry Ann Henry is a young woman whose emotional strength is put to the test when her beloved father dies unexpectedly, leaving Henry Ann to run the farm and cope with a difficult half-sister. Many of her neighboring farmers are struggling to deal with a serious drought and the depression, including handsome Tom Dolan. Tom has more trouble than dry acres however, for his mentally unstable wife is swiftly losing her hold on reality, a fact that endangers both Tom and their small son. Henry Ann's need of a farmhand throws the lovely young woman and the lonely man together, but the obstacles that stand in the way of their happiness may keep the two from realizing their love. A wonderful story liberally salted with nostalgic details of American farm life in the 1930s, With Hope is Dorothy Garlock at her best.
The bestselling author of Sweetwater and more than 20 other novels tackles Depression-era Oklahoma with wit, freshness and memorable characterization. In 1932, after Henry Ann Henry's father dies, she's left with a farm to run and two disreputable half-siblings to civilize. Soon the young woman's brood grows to include her African American foster mother, a vagrant with a secret past, and the young son of a handsome neighbor whose wife is going mad. There are plenty of troubles to contend with, not the least of which are the wagging tongues of the town gossips. An old-fashioned storyteller, Garlock creates people and places with a tart honesty reminiscent of a more adult version of the "Anne of Green Gables" series. Although the black dialect may grate on modern ears, it still has the ring of authenticity. The book is billed as a historical romance but should have wider appeal. National print advertising. (Sept.) FYI: This is the first of three books by Garlock set in the 1930s
This is a lovely, sentimental story about the Depression years. I think Ms. Garlock does a wonderful thing with this time period. Weve all heard folks talk about the Depression, saying that they were poor, but since everyone else was in the same boat, people didnt really see themselves as impoverished.
The characters are charming particularly the leads and Johnny. Garlock does another thing only experienced authors seem willing to chance some of the 'bad' characters change.
Garlock captures that small town feel in this story and it is nice to look back at a simpler time with nostalgia (even if it was the Depression years). She also makes a point of showing the downside of a small town everyone knows everyone elses business.
The story starts with twin tragedies; we are introduced to Henry Anns mother a floozy and a good time girl who has abandoned her husband and daughter. Mom blows into town to demand some money from her husband and move on with her next boyfriend. By the tone of the questions Henry Ann asks her mother, we can see that she is level-headed and understands things far beyond her years.
The story jumps forward several years and we learn that Henry Anns father is dying. Mr. Henry has been the rock upon which Henry Ann has built her life. We wonder how she will cope.
This is a pleasant story; the reason I didnt score it higher was that it was perfectly obvious where things were going. At times, it looked like it took a bit too long to get there.
The Dolan Brothers
1. Ribbon in the Sky (1991)
2. With Hope (1998)
3. With Song (1999)
4. With Heart (1999)
5. After the Parade (2000)