Angel Sister is one of those memorable southern tales that should be ranked up right up there with books like “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The story is written in a way that pulls the reader in and makes her feel a part of it. Historical details add a rich background that makes the story all the more believable.

A poignant story featuring the Merritt family, Angel Sister is related predominately by fourteen year-old Kate who is mature beyond her years. Struggling to make ends meet during the difficult years after World War I, the family is further burdened by father Victor’s alcoholism and strained relationships with both Victor and Nadine’s fathers. As the story progresses, reflections from Victor and Nadine begin to fill in the back story that improves the reader’s understanding of the family dynamics. Other pertinent characters add even more depth to the narrative.

Kate finds and takes home Lorena Birdsong, a young girl who has been abandoned by her parents in hope that someone will take care of her. A series of events are set in motion as secrets are revealed that will change the course of their lives forever.

Angel Sister will bring both tears and laughter to the reader as it reveals its story of family, forgiveness and redemption. I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

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


A Little Girl Abandonded on the Church Steps Awaiting her Angel…

“You have to be an angel.” said Lorena. “Why do I have to be an angel?” asked Kate. “Because mommy said that if I sat here and didn’t cry an angel would come and take care of me…” said Lorena.

Novelist Ann Gabhart, celebrated for her historical novels, weaves a new story from the Depression era in her latest work, Angel Sister (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3381-0, February 2011, $14.99). Growing up, Gabhart’s mother and aunts told many stories about the small community where they lived in Alton, Kentucky, including tales about the odd characters who lived in Alton. “Despite the hard times and some interesting personalities, what came through to me so clearly was the way those people in that small town cared for one another. My mother’s stories left a huge impression on me and planted the seed in my imagination that became Angel Sister,” says Gabhart.

It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together during the Great Depression. While her father tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?

In this richly textured novel, award-winning author Ann H. Gabhart reveals the power of true love, the freedom of forgiveness, and the strength to persevere through troubled times. Multidimensional characters face real and hard-hitting problems while maintaining their family bonds, all against the backdrop of a sultry Kentucky summer. Readers will be drawn into the story and find themselves lingering there long after they’ve finished the book.


Ann H. Gabhart is the award-winning, bestselling author of several books about the Shakers, including The Believer, The Outsider and The Seeker. Living just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village and one mile from the place she was born in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, she has walked the same paths that her characters might have walked in generations past.