Velva Jean dreams of becoming a big-time singer in Nashville until she falls in love with Harley Bright, a handsome juvenile delinquent turned revival preacher. As their tumultuous love story unfolds, Velva Jean must choose between keeping her hard-won home and pursuing her dream of singing in the Grand Ole Opry.
©2009 Jenniver Niven; (P)2009 Penguin
"It's a touching read, funny and wise, like a crazy blend of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, a less morose Flannery O'Connor and maybe a shot of Hank Williams." (Publishers Weekly)
I dread the end of this audio book. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Even my drive to work has been something I've looked forward to. I absolutely love Jenna Lamia, who totally captures the unique personalities, both male and female, of each character. She's amazing.
Jennifer's Niven's writing is so well done, transporting the listener to another place, another time. THe only way I can face the end of this book is the knowledge that another follows. Thank you for the distinct pleasure of listening to this tale!
The Secret LIfe of Bees
Too many to choose one.
Definitely Velva Jean, but her grandparents and Johnny Clay were also admirable.
I loved this book, it kept my attention for the full 14 hours. I read it originally because the narrator is one of my favorites and she did not disappoint this time either. I only wish this author had another book, I would download it now.
Found a new favorite aurthor. Well written, can just visualize the story. Starts out with a 10 year old Appalachian mountain girl who grows into a woman who as she matures forgets and then remembers what her dream are.
I have known people just like the ones in this story. So funny.
Besides Velva Jean, probably Sweet Fern. Jenna Lamia portrays Sweet Fern so vividly, you can experience her emotions.
Jenna Lamia is an incredible narrator. So expressive! Her reading is amazing.
Velva Jean. She is the main character of the story.
Great story. Would have been better for me without the curse words, but I understand they fit the characters being portrayed.
I'm a sucker for historical fiction - especially stories that deal with actual people and events, not just stories who happen to be set in the past. In fact, it's my favorite way to learn about history. Even though some people are fictional, someone very like them probably did exist and lived similar lives. This story paints a vivid and fresh picture of life in the hills of North Carolina at the time that Skyline Drive was being cut through the tops of the mountains. It reminded me often of the story of Christy by Catherine Marshall, although this was bit more earthy. I truly enjoyed the reading as well (Jenna Lamia is winner!). Ms. Niven did a wonderful job creating believable period characters, yet mixed with a little of the outlandish to spice things up a bit. You'll simultaneously cheer for and shake your head at Velva Jean!
This book was a great listen, which I highly recommend. I was always eager to get back to it. The story is engaging and at times moving. The narration also was high-quality.
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