Hope finally convinced her father to let her help out on his chapel car ministry, and she can't wait to get to Finch... until she's there and realizes the place is smaller than she'd imagined and wary of outsiders. Except for a miner named Luke. And if she isn't mistaken, there's a spark between them. If only Luke wouldn't get into it with Kirby Finch all the time. Hope is sure Kirby is trying to help the children, but Luke doesn't trust the man as far he could throw him.
I'm giving this book 5 stars and I've got very good reasons to do so! (But instead of the usual 5 point thing I'm gonna ramble)
This book, with its themes of the railroad, strikes, and unionization, are like my "back to basics" combo since In The Company of Secrets (also by Judith Miller) was the first adult book I read (besides I think maybe The Shunning, but other than that it was all teen/kids section for me at the library) and while I haven't ever managed to find a Judith Miller that I enjoy as much as the Postcards from Pullman series, this book was amazing. I honestly had no clue that this was even a thing! Kirby was so annoying, and I really wanted to slap him upside the head with his own book (or maybe his still) and I found myself comparing him to Mr. Howard in the Pullman series. (sorry if you haven't read them, because they are probably going to be all over this review! I'll try and control myself.) Luke learning so much from Preacher is so sweet to watch, and my heart dropped through my stomach at one point in Preacher's story. I was definitely crying by the end of the book. This is the type of book that has you saying "I wish I could have met Aunt Mattie, I'm sure I would have loved her" and then going "oh....yeah" as you try and bring yourself out of the fog of the West Virginia mountains. (Also, very authentic mountain talk! I love the mountains and this book carried me away to a place I'd rather be than almost anywhere else.) Really long... paragraph?........ short, read the book, buy the book, treasure the book. Plus, the cover has that raised lettering that I love. Yay!!