Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas reminded me of the folks I met in West Virginia a couple years ago. I have spent very little time in West Virginia, I have driven through it quite a few times, but haven’t stopped often. Once I spent time there because our car broke down. We were very well taken care of. The other time was when our youth group did a mission trip to West Virginia. I spent 10 days getting to know one family in particular, but also their church family and so in a small way reading this book was like going to visit that little town all over again.
Using Wise, West Virginia in 1954, Sarah writes a simple story that touches your heart and makes you wish that you had a chance to go meet the town folks. None of them are perfect and yet they are willing to help each other through a dry season.
When a drought strikes, people begin to play the blame game. Whose fault is it? Pastor Longbourne is sure it is Perla Long. She just came to town with a daughter but no husband. She has sinned and he is sure that God has turned his face against the town because of this. Casewell isn’t so sure. Yes, he judged Perla when he first learned her story, but as he has gotten to know Perla and her daughter Sadie, he knows that is not true. Not only is she not the reason for the drought, she is working hard to make sure families survive. Who will the town’s people believe?
This book has a certain Walton’s-ish feel to it. It is set in the 50’s instead of the 30’s, but it still had that feel. An honest group of people trying to do what was right while loving their families and trying to take care of them during a difficult time. It is a story that won’t set the house on fire, but it is one that you will want to continue reading and maybe even find yourself wishing you were neighbors with the good folk of Wise.