Select one of the keywords
Nazareth's Song: The Millwood Hollow Series    by Patricia Hickman order for
Nazareth's Song
by Patricia Hickman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Patricia Hickman's sequel to Fallen Angels can also stand alone. Set in the 1930's Depression, the story reveals stressful times, with neighbor helping neighbor. This inspirational, and heartwarming story (re)acquaints readers with Jeb Nubey and the Welby children, Angel, Willie, and Ida May. The cast of characters is at the center of this historical fiction.

Millwood Hollow, in Nazareth, Arkansas is a cherished community whose townsfolk are righteous, sometimes ornery, and forgiving. Jeb and his abandoned wards have grown to love the town and its people. Readers familiar with the first book will have questions answered - does Jeb makes it as a preacher, does he continue to court Fern Coulter, the schoolteacher, and will the Welby children be reunited with their parents? With Reverend Philemon Gracie's assistance, Jeb studies for the ministry. Reverend Gracie and his family leave Millwood Hollow, moving to Cincinnati so that the Reverend can receive necessary treatment. Jeb is prompted by Gracie to become minister of the 'Church in the Dell' - to the satisfaction of some folk and the dismay of others. To succeed in his endeavors, Jeb must regain his belief that if he does the right thing, all will be right in his world.

Jeb encounters setbacks with the woman he loves, while Winona Mills pursues his affection. An ambitious banker uses false methods that both help and harm the town. Fourteen-year-old Angel becomes involved with a 'bad element', the church bell goes missing, and Asa Hopper instigates a riot damaging two buildings. In trials and tribulations, Jeb has moments of victory and defeat, but never loses his faith, goodness, and love. On a Sunday morning Jeb arrives to prepare the church for services to find the building full of pullets! Are the feathered flock there to attend services or has there been a mistake in delivery destination? The author adds more humor when Angel says to Jeb, 'The day you turn into upper crust, is the day Wolverton's hogs sprout wings.'

Hickman has a notable grasp of Arkansas dialect and life in the 1930's, which she shows filled with both sadness, and love. Among wise messages in the story, Hickman teaches that those who have 'done wrong' can be forgiven and deserve another chance. In her poetic words, 'Particles of dust danced like gold dust in the light, drawn up toward the windows, lifting like God might walk in any moment upon the light beams.' Nazareth's Song is a thoughtful, admirable read, a tale of human frailties and strengths. I look forward to Hickman's next installment of The Millwood Hollow series.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Historical books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews