This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.
The Happy Hour Choir
Summary from Goodreads:
Life has dealt Beulah Land a tough hand to play, least of all being named after a hymn. A teenage pregnancy estranged her from her family, and a tragedy caused her to lose what little faith remained. The wayward daughter of a Baptist deacon, she spends her nights playing the piano at The Fountain, a honky-tonk located just across the road from County Line Methodist. But when she learns that a dear friend’s dying wish is for her to take over as the church’s piano player, she realizes it may be time to face the music…
Beulah butts heads with Luke Daniels, the new pastor at County Line, who is determined to cling to tradition even though he needs to attract more congregants to the aging church. But the choir also isn’t enthusiastic about Beulah’s contemporary take on the old songs and refuse to perform. Undaunted, Beulah assembles a ragtag group of patrons from The Fountain to form the Happy Hour Choir. And as the unexpected gig helps her let go of her painful past—and accept the love she didn’t think she deserved—she just may be able to prove to Luke that she can toe the line between sinner and saint…
Traveling With T’s Thoughts:
When Alison Law tweeted to me that I NEEDED to read this book, I knew I had to have it. Alison Law gets me- gets my taste in books. And she was not wrong about THE HAPPY HOUR CHOIR!
Beulah Land is a character that you want to hug and sometimes want to pinch. She is layered- a layer of hurt under and layer of strength and charm- and all those layers work together to make Beulah memorable.
Luke Daniels, in other hands, could have been stereotypical. He could have been even sanctimonious at times. But in the capable hands that crafted Beulah Land- he was a man that was highly readable. You, the reader, could see the sides of Luke- the preacher side, the regular man side, the side that wanted Beulah to believe in church again- no matter how her past had been. Luke didn’t want to change Beulah- he wanted the best for Beulah- and Beulah needs someone like that in her life.
The star of the show, in my opinion, is Ginger. Ginger knows Beulah- her faults, her charms, her strength and her fears. Ginger knows that Beulah has the tools to have a happy life- but fear and her past keep tripping her up in ways. Ginger knows- and in all the ways she can, she shows Beulah that life goes on- and it’s better to go on than stay stuck in the past.
Do you like stories with heart in them? THE HAPPY HOUR CHOIR has tons of heart- gajillion tons of heart. Strong debut- and worth a read if you enjoy memorable characters and small town settings!
*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T