Cindy K. Sproles Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Publisher: Revell Date of Publication: June 2, 2020
Number of Pages: 256
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Worie Dressar is seventeen years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie’s mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them. Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers—one greedy and the other a drunkard—Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma’s children. Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.
PRAISE for What Momma Left Behind:
“Worie Dressar isn’t your typical heroine—she’s tough, she’s opinionated, and she’s loud. But at her core she wants to love and be loved—just like the rest of us. Cindy’s special talent is in telling about life the way it is—hard parts and all—while preserving the beauty and wonder of love shining through even the darkest night.”—Sarah Loudin Thomas, Christy Award-nominated author of Miracle in a Dry Season “Seldom does a story move me to tears and encourage me to examine my life. A powerful story. Highly recommended.”—DiAnn Mills, author of Fatal Strike “Cindy Sproles has a way of placing readers inside the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her ability to transport readers into her Appalachian adventures is nothing short of genius. Leaving us hanging on every word, Cindy writes with feeling and incredible historical knowledge. This book is a must-read!” —LaTan Murphy, writer, speaker, author of Courageous Women of the Bible
While attending library school, I took a storytelling class that focused on the narrative tradition of the Appalachian Mountain community. It was incredibly fascinating, so when I saw this book took place within that area, I was immediately intrigued. It took me back to memories of the course and I couldn’t wait to start reading! Add in the idea that the characters are also in the midst of serious diseases wrecking havoc on the people and it couldn’t get any more relevant for readers today.
Worie Dressar is an exceptionally mature young woman, having faced more tragedies in her short years than much older people experience in a lifetime. Her strength is palpable on every page, and despite her youth, we can all draw encouragement from her character. She does still obviously have a lot to learn, but the first person perspective allows such a fascinating exploration into the range of emotions she feels as she goes through deep personal and emotional journeys. Being privy to her private inner thoughts added so much intensity and sentiment to what she has overcome and the duty she feels to keep going each day for the children. Her individual introspection showcases just how passionate Worie is about making a positive difference in the lives of those around her. This point of view also adds remarkable authenticity to her voice by the language and dialect she uses and is so carefully crafted that it becomes easy to hear and natural enough that you might find yourself speakin the same way long after the book has been put away!
Christian messages are woven across the story providing an inspirational and insightful guide all along the way. Readers will easily feel how strongly rooted her faith is in her efforts to bring forth a living example to the words of scripture and stay true to her upbringing. Worie challenges us all to be better people and spiritual stewards. Family dynamics as well as its dysfunction as seen through her relationships and interactions with her siblings were such a crucial message that is beautifully examined within this story. Families are created in so many different ways and I truly appreciated the author’s exploration of this throughout the story.
This was a new to me author that I look forward to checking out more of from soon. This rich and multilayered story kept me turning pages and is definitely highly recommended historical fiction!
Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a free copy of the book. This is my honest and thoughtful review.
Cindy K. Sproles is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries. An author, storyteller, and popular speaker, Cindy teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and directs the Asheville Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina. Editor of ChristianDevotions.us and managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, Cindy has a BA in business and journalism and lives in the mountains of East Tennessee with her family.
Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours, the publisher, and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!