Like Josie, I was thirteen years old in 1964 and lived in a small rural neighborhood so it was easy for me to identify with the characters in “Scent of Lilacs”. In some ways, this novel relates Josie’s departure from childhood as she learns one after another family secret, many of which affect her life. She often responds with a maturity that belies her age but at times her emotional reactions lead to trouble.

The plot moved at a steady pace and its characters and setting quickly drew me deeply into the story. I loved the way it brought back memories of times gone by but the story itself was the real attraction. The quirky characters and surprising twists and humorous scenes added an extra dimension to the narrative. Interwoven with wisdom and faith, “Scent of Lilacs” manages to communicate a truth about family that goes beyond blood ties.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Scent of Lilacs” and would recommend it to most everyone. For a taste of life in Holly Hill, check Hollyhill Book of the Strange HERE.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Scent Of LilacsAfter the summer of 1964, life for Jocie Brooke will never be the same.

Life-changing events rarely happen in quiet Hollyhill, Kentucky, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for young Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once during the humid summer of 1964. Though on the surface things are just fine, it seems like everyone in Jocie’s life has something they’re not saying, something they’re hiding from her-and from themselves. As Jocie digs into her family’s past, she stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries. Will she find the answers everyone so desperately needs? Or will her questions lead to truths better left hidden?

Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love.

“Gabhart’s compelling characterization serves up a juicy slice of life in a small town where little is as it seems. Jocie’s conversational voice and quirky sense of humor are a delight.”-RT Book Reviews


Ann GabhartAnn H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, Words Spoken True, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Find out more at