About the Book
Could you fall in love despite the great risk of losing the one you cherish most?
Hoping for a fresh start, Hannah Wright moves to Springhill, the hometown of the father she never knew because he died in their volatile coal mines before she was born. She tracks down her aunt, Abigail Percy, and is immediately welcomed to move in with the whole Percy clan. This includes her Uncle Ray, a coal miner, and their four lively children. Suddenly, she’s surrounded by more family than she’s ever had in her life.
The day after she arrives, the mine explodes, trapping many underground, including Uncle Ray. Little did Hannah know when she set off on this new adventure how much her family was going to need her. When the Percys face a sudden lack of provision, Hannah knows she must get a job to help them. But the only industry in town that pays enough is coal mining–and the mine company doesn’t hire women.
Hannah secretly masquerades as a man and gets hired as Mel, a distant cousin of her father’s. Keeping up her charade is challenging in this tight-knit, 1950s town, where everybody knows one another.
Hannah is placed on the team of Josh Winslow, a handsome bachelor who noticed her the moment she stepped into town. It doesn’t take long for Josh to see through Hannah’s disguise as Mel, but she convinces him there’s no other way for her to help take care of her family. Understanding the pressure she’s under, he agrees to not blow Hannah’s cover–for now.
Though Hannah seems to keep Josh at arm’s length, he’s determined to chip away at her defenses and win her heart. She resists, afraid to love someone who could die at any moment in an accident underground.
Long-time miners start to sense that “the big one” is coming. Calling it a “Bump” does little to calm Hannah’s fear of the impending underground earthquake, a disaster that could come any day. Will Josh and Hannah be among the next miners caught in a catastrophic disaster?
Does Hannah stand to lose everything she’s worked so hard to rebuild?
Song of Springhill is a love story set against the backdrop of true-life disasters that plagued the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia in the 1950s. It was a town torn by tragedy that also experienced some of the most astounding, miraculous rescues the world ever watched unfold.
***** (5 Stars)
This truly is a love story—beautiful, and its theme, even more so.
A hurt heroine struggling to believe in God, an optimistic hero who makes the complexities of life look so simple, a family to cherish held strong by their relentless faith in God, and a town that will find its way to your heart like a beloved song—make a story full of heart, love, truth, hope, and promise that despite the odds of life, all will eventually be well if we take things in good faith, and that the risk of loving and being loved is worth every effort, faith, and hope on our part.
From the first to the last word, the intentional plotting was tremendously and intricately put together, not only to drive home its message, but to entertain as well. Characterization was at its peak, as well as the setting—from every shop, street, house, and yes, inside/outside the mine—as McKay brilliantly brought every element to life. I’d like to especially applaud her skill on how she handled the time factor. The events in the book spanned two years, yet while reading it, I spotted no lapses, gaps, or inconsistencies. Time flowed effortlessly in keeping with the plot.
The theme is the aspect of the story that I appreciated the most. Without trying to make a case for why God lets bad things happen, McKay clearly but subtly showed the imperativeness and the beauty that could come from trusting God, being thankful to Him at all times, acknowledging His mercies when we experience them, and holding steadfast to Him still, even when it seems He withholds it from us. This is truly a remarkable story—a healing and soothing balm to those searching for answers or seeking to understand the way of God in allowing pain in the lives of His precious children.
*Although I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My gratitude to Cheryl McKay, the author, for offering me a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
**Cheryl McKay will be appearing on TBAP in an interview on Dec. 19th**
Cheryl has graciously offered to giveaway a free copy to one lucky winner! Leave a comment for a chance to do so. The winner must be able to receive a gifted copy from Amazon.com.
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About the Author
Cheryl McKay has been professionally writing since 1997. Cheryl wrote the screenplay for The Ultimate Gift, based on Jim Stovall’s novel. The award-winning film stars James Garner, Brian Dennehy, and Abigail Breslin and was released in theaters by Fox in 2007. The Ultimate Gift won a Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival, received three Movieguide Nominations, winning one of the Ten Best Family Films of 2007, and won a CAMIE Award, for one of the Top Ten Films of the year. Cheryl also wrote the DVD for Gigi: God’s Little Princess, another book adaptation based on the book by Sheila Walsh, as well as the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories audio series and books with Frank Peretti. She wrote a half-hour drama for teenagers about high school violence, called Taylor’s Wall. It was produced in Los Angeles by Family Theater Productions. She wrote a script called Killing Hope, commissioned by Art Within, after winning a year-long fellowship. Her screenplay, Never the Bride, has been adapted into a novel for Random House Publishers and was released in June 2009. She wrote A Friend for Maddie for Handmaiden Entertainment and recently released Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace. Cheryl lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Chris, who is a photographer and a musician.