Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book Review: Rising Above Shepherdsville

Rising Above Shepherdsville. Ann Schoenbohm. 2019. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: There I was, Mama, standing in the tall grass right next to Redeemer Baptist Church, the day after the Fourth of July, when I spied what I would have sworn on a heap of Bibles was an angel rising straight up to heaven.

Premise/plot: Dulcie Louise Dixon stars in Ann Schoenbohm’s coming of age historical novel. (It is set in 1977.) After her mother’s death, Dulcie has lost the ability to speak. Ray, her mother’s steady boyfriend, has tried his best to raise her since her mother’s death. But both are grieving—though in different ways. He’s a trucker. His livelihood depends on him trucking. Someone needs to be there day to day to take care of her. Ray sends her to Aunt Bernie. Dulcie is reluctant for another change. But life in Shepherdsville might just be the absolute best thing for Dulcie...the place where she finds her voice.

My thoughts: I loved this one. I did. Dulcie’s narrative was amazing. I don’t particularly share her interest in swans. But I absolutely loved the sideline with Evangeline and Faith. This one has characters that I loved and championed.

One thing that I absolutely loved was the religious/spiritual aspect of it. The book wasn’t preachy. Christianity is just a major backdrop for the story. While it isn’t at all unusual for middle grade novels to have a strong school setting, a church setting is unique and refreshing. Reverend Love’s patience and empathy is something beautiful. I loved how his relationship with Dulcie developed. (There isn’t a hint of creepiness.)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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