Beulah Land (like the hymn) got pregnant at 16–to the dismay of her mother and preacher father–and sensing that she was unwelcome at home, moved in with her piano teacher Ginger Belmont. Beulah had been living with Ginger for nine years when Luke Daniels (Preacher Man) comes to town. Her life had been going well, she worked at the local bar playing piano and she took care of Ginger. When Ginger’s cancer comes out of remission, she has one request for Beulah–to take her place as the church pianist. Beulah’s hesitant to return to church where she was so severely ostracized less than ten years before, but she does as Ginger asks. Over time she comes to learn some new things about herself, Ginger, and the people in her small town.
The book started out kind of shaky for me. It was very hard to tell how old Beulah was until she stated her age. The tone of the book makes her sound really immature throughout (she sounded like a teenager to me). This was mildly annoying at first, but then once we really got into her past, I felt like a lot of things had happened that should have made her seem older than she was, more mature. The fact that she complained and acted like a teenager was distracting and made me not like her as a character.
I liked the other characters okay. The book deals with some pretty deep issues, which I wasn’t expecting, and that brought some meat to the book, but the characters were too shallow to really round out the plot. I just feel like this book was mostly a missed opportunity. Tough topics include sexual abuse, rape, cancer, and dealing with loss.
I feel kind of bad because this is the third NetGalley book that I’ve reviewed and I haven’t really liked any of what I’ve read so far. But I definitely don’t want to give a dishonest opinion. With that being said, I’m pretty excited for the next two ARCs I have lined up. They seem promising. If you’re still interested in this book despite my review, it comes out April 28th and you can pre-order it HERE.
Overall Rating: 2
Sexual Content: Moderate (see tough topics listed above)
Smoking/Drinking: Heavy. Beulah works in a bar so a lot of scenes are set there with people drinking.
Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.