I’m delighted today to give you a peek inside When the Meadow Blooms by Ann H. Gabhart – and a chance for two of you to win a copy of your own!
WHEN THE MEADOW BLOOMS by Ann H. Gabhart
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction/Romance
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2022
If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past–the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.
Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother’s widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.
Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart explores the tender places within the human heart in this character-driven story of trusting God to turn our burdens into something beautiful.
February 27, 1925
“You will never be completely well. Tuberculosis leaves its mark on your lungs.”
“I know, Doctor.” Rose Meadows looked at Dr. Bess Halvechs across the desk from her. “But I am so much better. I’ve been walking about the grounds and manage the stairs to the dining room instead of eating in my room.”
“Yes.” Dr. Bess’s forehead wrinkled in a frown. The doctor was devoted to her patients at Rest Haven Sanitarium and worked tirelessly to help them keep breathing. “You have made progress, Rose. Excellent progress, but as you know from your time here, relapses do occur. Even if that doesn’t happen, you will continually struggle with some aspects of the disease.”
Rose didn’t argue with the truth of the doctor’s words, but she didn’t have to be cured. She merely had to be well enough to leave the sanitarium and go get her daughters. “I have accepted that, but with care, I can manage.”
“With care.” The doctor fingered the stethoscope that hung around her neck as though she might get up and come around the desk to check Rose’s lungs right then. Dr. Bess was older than Rose, one of the first women to be accepted into a medical school. “Those are the words we must consider. With care. Do you have someone willing to give you that care?”
Rose met the doctor’s eyes. “My oldest daughter will be fifteen next month. Old enough to help.” Her care wasn’t something she wanted to thrust on Calla, but the need to be with her two girls again burned a hole in her heart. She hadn’t seen them for almost two years.
“But how will you survive, dear Rose? Do you plan to hire your daughter out to bring in money?”
“Hire her out?” Rose shrank from the thought. She couldn’t imagine sending Calla off to a factory job or to be a maid. “No, no. She can help me fashion hats. And there’s my husband’s army pension.”
“A paltry amount, I fear. Not enough for rent and food, and while you can still practice your milliner skills, you won’t have the strength to work steadily as you did in the past. Do you have family who might help you?”
“No.” Rose’s heart sank. “As I told you, my husband died during the influenza epidemic. My parents passed on years ago.”
“No sisters or brothers?”
“None living. A sister and brother died at a young age.”
“So many troubles in this day.” Dr. Bess clucked her tongue. “But, Rose, I cannot in good conscience release you unless you can give me some assurance that you will have a proper place to stay. You can’t live on the street or in some hovel where you would be exposed to the damp and not have the proper clean air and sunshine.”
“I’m well enough that my girls wouldn’t be at risk if I am with them. Isn’t that right?”
“Your sputum is negative, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t prone to a relapse.” She paused and studied Rose before she went on. “Stay with us a bit longer. Get stronger for those girls of yours.”
“But I think they need me now. I got a letter from Sienna. Something about it didn’t sound right.”
The letter was only a few lines. I am fine. My teacher is nice. I get enough to eat. I am learning to listen. It read like a school assignment, with sentences dictated by the teacher. The only part that seemed truly like Sienna was the tiny sketch of a bird for the dot above the i in her name and a drawing of a long-tailed mouse on the bottom of the page.
Sienna had been entranced by anything in nature since her first baby giggle at the sight of a butterfly. But it didn’t have to be something pretty to catch her eye. She liked spiders and once picked up a garter snake. When it bit her, she hadn’t cried. Instead, she gently put down the snake and apologized for scaring it.
“Sienna is the younger one, right? How old is she?” Dr. Bess asked.
“Nine,” Rose said.
Dr. Bess looked sympathetic. “At that age, she surely lacks letter-writing skills, don’t you think?” She waited for Rose’s nod and then went on. “Has your older daughter written to you about any problems?”
“No, but she might not if she thought it would upset me.” Calla’s last letter had only been a couple of paragraphs, the words stiff somehow, as though she had nothing good to write. “I just have the feeling something is wrong. Mothers have an innate sense about their children.”
Ann H. Gabhart, When the Meadow Blooms
Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2022. Used by permission.
for more of this excerpt, click HERE
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Along a Storied Trail, An Appalachian Summer, River to Redemption, These Healing Hills, and Angel Sister, along with several Shaker novels—The Refuge, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm’s fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.
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