It’s the closing months of World War II, and Delilah Morrissey is back in Wise, West Virginia, the small town where she grew up. She’s taken refuge with her sister and brother-in-law after the death of her husband from a heart attack. She had lived in Chicago, and what looked like a glamorous, exciting lifestyle from outside masked an increasingly disastrous marriage.
|Sarah Loudin Thomas|
Delilah is 34, and she knows that time is working against her dream of a large family. At the moment, it’s working against the idea of marriage. But at Thornton’s General Store, she meets Robert Thornton, handsome, unmarried, in his 40s, and, Delilah will come to know, unable to have children. As for Robert, he finds himself falling in love with Delilah, but he comes to understand her desire for children.
The novella Appalachian Serenade by Sarah Loudin Thomas is the story of Delilah and Robert, and a sweet story it is. It may be hard to find two people more meant for each other than these two people groping for love and understanding. It may also be hard to find two people who seem to go out of their way to avoid falling in love, to the point of Delilah trying to play matchmaker between Robert and an old flame.
Thomas is the author of several novels and stories in the Christian fiction genre. Her stories are set in West Virginia and celebrate Appalachian people and culture, and Appalachian Serenade is full of small-town West Virginia. Loudin and her family live in western North Carolina.
You’re convinced you know how this story has to end, and you’re not far off. But the process of watching two people fumble and stumble toward each other is what Appalachian Serenade is about.