By Elizabeth Musser
Bethany House, $14.99, 397 pages
A rich, heartwarming story of friendship and faith, this novel will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it. Set in Atlanta during the Great Depression, this novel relates the sudden friendship of two young women, Mary “Dobbs” Dillard and Anne “Perri” Singleton, and the tragedy, betrayal and mystery that it endures.
Secure, practical Perri is happily caught up in the norms of high Southern society, despite the tough economic times – excelling at her private all-girls school, doing charity work, and properly entertaining suitors. When tragedy strikes her seemingly perfect world, she’s completely devastated. That same day, Dobbs arrives in town to stay with her aunt, a neighbor of the Singletons, while her family back home in Chicago struggles to make ends meet.
Dobbs definitely doesn’t fit in at first – she’s fiery, candid and passionate – but with her admirable faith and contagious enthusiasm for life, she helps Perri through her difficult time, and their friendship grows strong. Both girls struggle through some personal trials and challenges. Family secrets and mysteries become unraveled, and when death threatens a loved one, faith and friendship are put to the test.
Author Elizabeth Musser really brings Perri and Dobbs to life through alternating first-person point-of-view, great dialogue and enriching details. The novel flows smoothly, keeping the reader interested from start to finish, and contains satisfying depth of the other supporting characters in the story.
Reviewed by Aimee Rasmussen