The Right Kind of Fool was another wonderful Appalachian tale penned by the talented Sarah Loudin Thomas. Vivid descriptions of the book’s setting blended with compelling characters and situations held me captive until the very end. A narrative of a summer in a broken family’s life, the story was a beautiful example of strength and bravery, love and reconciliation, faith and the power of the human spirit to overcome overwhelming obstacles.

Loyal Raines could not have been given a more appropriate name. He embodied the meaning of his name and more with his unquenchable determination to be “normal” despite his handicap. I loved how he did not allow his deafness to hinder him and how his brave actions brought his over-protective mother and his guilt-ridden father back together to provide Loyal the family he had always wanted.

Skillfully written with a steady plot that includes a suspenseful mystery set among the mountains of Appalachia, The Right Kind of Fool is a novel that will stay in my memory for quite awhile. I have enjoyed all the other books by this author but this one is special. I hope other readers will enjoy it as much as I did.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required.All views expressed are my own.


Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he’d obeyed his mother. Desperate for help, he runs to the mountain cabin of his mostly absentee father, frantically trying to communicate the news with his hands.

Driven away by fear and guilt over his son’s deafness, Creed has played a distant part in Loyal’s life and language. But when he’s pulled into the murder investigation, he discovers that what sets his son apart isn’t his inability to hear but rather his courage. As the impact of the murder ripples through their West Virginia town, both will learn what it took to kill a man and what it takes to become one.


Sarah Loudin Thomas ( is a fund-raiser for a children’s ministry and the author of the acclaimed novels The Sound of Rain and Miracle in a Dry Season–winner of the 2015 INSPY Award. Sarah has also been a finalist for the Christy Award, the ACFW Carol Award, and the Christian Book of the Year Award. She and her husband live near Asheville, North Carolina.