Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Story Description: 
Baker Publishing Group|May 1, 2005|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-8007-3080-2 
Before Ann H. Gabhart became well-known for her much-loved Shaker novels, she wrote three poignant novels centered on the loveable Jocie Brooke and her family, who lived in 1960’s small-town Kentucky.  Once named as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Christian Novels and now featuring a brand new cover, Scent of Lilacs is poised to capture the hearts of new readers everywhere.  Life-changing events rarely happen here, and when they do, they are few and far between.  But for Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once.  Jocie has questions that need answers.  As she digs into her family’s past, she finds a whirlwind of discoveries, and everything begins to change.  In the end, will Jocie find the answers everyone so desperately needs, or will her questions lead to truths that were better left uncovered? 
Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story takes readers through the universal experiences of true love, new life, and renewed faith.  With a beautiful new cover, Scent of Lilacs is poised to capture the hearts of readers everywhere. 
My Review: 
Thirteen-year-old Jocie Brooks prays for a dog and then finds one in the woods that she names Jezebel or Jeb for short.  Jocie is always praying the dog prayer and the sister prayer hoping beyond hope that God would send her both.  Her mother left home when Jocie was only five and took her older sister Tabitha with her but Jocie hasn’t seen her since and misses her terribly.  Jocie is a loner and her very best friend in the world is five times her age and tells her he is from the planet Jupiter. 
David Brooks, Jocie’s father loves and adores Jocie and would do anything for her.  He preaches at their local church, Mt. Pleasant and is hoping to be voted in as the interim pastor until a full-time candidate can be found.  David was only going to be voted in as “interim” pastor instead of full-time pastor because the Baptists church liked their pastors to be married.  He also works at the ‘Hollyhill Banner’, the local newspaper office to make ends meet to put food on the table.  His wife, Adrienne left him and had taken their daughter, Tabitha with her when she left for California.  Tabitha was only thirteen-years-old at the time, the same age that Jocie is now, but Tabitha will be turning twenty on her next birthday in a month’s time.  David used to be a solider on a submarine but couldn’t handle the constant darkness and black-outs on the sub and got out. 
Aunt Love is seventy-eight-years-old and is slowly losing her mind and going a bit senile.  She often puts things on the stove, forgets they are there until someone else begins to smell smoke.  Jocie and David worry about her, of course.  The only part of her memory that remains totally intact is that part that enables her to quote scripture passages from the Bible which she uses on, Jocie, to keep her behaviour in check.  Jocie and Aunt Love don’t always see eye-to-eye on things.  Aunt Love has never been married nor had any children. 
Wes works at the paper with David and thinks he came to Hollyhill from Jupiter!  He believed the dog Jocie found was also from Jupiter and that head man on the ship had turned one of the other aliens into a dog.  He believes his name was Harlan and figured Harlan was just hiding out as a dog, but Wes is Jocie’s best friend in the whole world and she loves hearing about his tales of Jupiter. 
One evening arriving home from church, David, Jocie, and Aunt Love could see someone sitting on their porch and a very faint light like that from a candle.  Much to their surprise it was Tabitha, she had returned from California but without her mother.  Adrienne was still out there and had apparently taken to calling herself DeeDee. Tabitha comes home with news that surprises her father. 
Jeb, the dog, takes off into Grampa’s old woods again and Jocie gives chase on her bike soon to find herself lost.  She finally stumbles upon an old broken down remnant of a house.  There was a river just down the hill from the house and a cave.  The dog ran into the cave and came out carrying the “skull of a baby!”  Jocie was startled and terrified but crawled back in to return the skull to the grave.  She rode home and told Aunt Love who became immediately upset and told her to fetch Wes and his motorcycle.  Aunt Love rode on the back of Wes’s bike and retrieved the entire skeleton.  Why did Aunt Lovie do this? 
In the meantime, some mean boy on the street reveals some startling news to Jocie that upsets her terribly and now she is full of questions but is so very upset that she runs away because she’s too afraid to ask the questions and hear the answers.  She soon finds herself in trouble and trapped in the middle of a sudden tornado.  Will Jocie live through the tornado unscathed to ask the questions and if so, will she be able to handle the answers?
Scent of Lilacs is a beautifully written novel that will keep you entertained for an entire afternoon.  I read the book in one sitting and will definitely be recommending it to my friends.  Thank you to Graf-Martin for providing me a copy of this book.  The opinions expressed here are purely my own and I received no compensation for my review.  
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

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