I was immediately intrigued by Scent of Lilacs the moment I saw that it is set in the sixties.
The cover alone drew me back to the days of rolled up jeans (any one notice they're making a comeback of sorts?) and white socks and tennies. My wardrobe staple back in the day. And I love those few short days in spring when the scent of lilacs permeates the air everywhere you go.
Thirteen-year-old Jocie Brooke's Mom left Jocie and her dad seven years earlier, taking Jocie's then 13-year-old sister with her. Jocie has not seen her mom and sister since then. The story opens on a hot June day in Hollyhill, Kentucky where Jocie lives with her dad and aunt. Along the way through the first chapters, the reader is introduced to a smiling dog that adopts Jocie and several other interesting characters.
Jocie's old enough now to sense there are more family secrets than just explaining why her mother took off with her older sister. Secrets that when discovered rock her world.
Those old enough will enjoy the nostalgic touches of life back in the sixties, and those who like a story with substance won't be disappointed either. Although I found the pacing at the beginning a bit slower than I prefer, it's a well-written book with great characterizations.
About the author:
Ann H. Gabhart started writing when she was ten and has been
writing ever since. Her first published writings were personal
experience pieces, youth stories, and poems in church periodicals such
as HomeLife. Her first novel, a historical romance about the settling of
Kentucky, was published by Warner Books in 1978. Since then, she's
published numerous books for both adults and young adults. Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she
was born. She and her husband, Darrell, a bass singer in the Patriot
Quartet, have three children and nine grandchildren. Her website is
I was provided a complimentary reviewer copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.