Cover Image: The Right Kind of Fool

The Right Kind of Fool

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Member Reviews

This story was such a beautiful escape set in Appalachia.  I'm a sucker for an underdog and this novel had it's share. Full of mystery and relationship drama, I highly recommend this one!
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Deaf teen, Loyal, longs for his estranged parents to get back together. He also thinks he has failed his dad, driving his dad to live off-site. A murder in their small WV town brings the family and neighbors together to figure out “who dunnit”. Other teens, Rebecca and Michael, first threaten then befriend Loyal as the mystery deepens.

Add to this the relationship between Loyal’s parents. His dad feels responsible for Loyal’s deafness and has withdrawn from his son. His mom has been raising him almost on her own, with resentment for the father who lives offsite in a mountain cabin.
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I didn’t expect such character depth when I got into this book, but wow—what a lovely surprise! I especially loved how the deaf character in here interacted with the world—it never felt fake or forced, but very realistic. Yet the story kept going just fine through his point of view, which I was astounded with!

The mystery, too, was fascinating—and I appreciate how that ended up. It was quite involved and not straightforward, which I enjoyed. I rarely manage to guess the ending to a mystery anyway, but this one was very well done.

This is a story of rejection and healing, distance and understanding, grief and forgiveness. Overall, it was a lovely read, and well worth the time! Recommended.

I was given a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
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The Right Kind of Fool had two strikes against it when I picked it up. 1) It's not a romance, and I vastly prefer reading romances. 2) I read it while recovering from Covid, and, for whatever reason, I have had little desire to read while I've been sick. (I've also had little desire to watch Hallmark Christmas movies, but that's a story for a different day.) But I also have enjoyed Sarah Loudin Thomas's books in the past, so I decided to go ahead and read it.

This is the surprise read of the year for me! From the moment I met 13-year-old Loyal Raines, I was swept into this charming story. It contains family drama, danger, several sweet relationships, and a very intriguing murder mystery.

My absolute favorite aspect of this book is the burgeoning relationship between Loyal and his father Creed. It was so sweet watching them learning to communicate with each other. I also loved the mystery that runs through the story and how it resolved. Overall, this is an excellent read!
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The Right Kind of Fool is a captivating story to read. I enjoyed this historical and am giving it four and a half stars.
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A poignant tale of family, growing up, friendship, and forgiveness.

The summer of 1934, 13 year old Loyal Raines discovers a dead body, disrupting his small town community as accusations fly and tensions rise. 

Loyal is a 13 year old boy kept on the outside looking in, deaf from a young age, he can see things that others can't hear. I loved how he grows in confidences and courage under the guidance of a father, and opening his silent world to others by teaching them sign. He is clever and intuitive, eager to please and fit in with the hearing world. One of my favorite parts of this book was his friendship with Rebecca, a girl similar in age who has a speech impediment, I loved how she embraces Loyal as he is, seeing all the things that he can do rather than the things he can't. 

The book also follows Loyal's parents Delphy and Creed as they are forced to confront the things that fractured their relationship.  I loved how Creed comes to admire his son, as he sees him connecting with others, and courageously protecting his friends and fighting for truth. 

This is a beautiful story of family and forgiveness, coming alive against the backdrop of the West Virginia Mountains during the Depression. Loyal is an incredible young man, not shying away from the challenges of the hearing world. Compelling and mysterious, with well developed characters and a grippingly poignant plot, with strong themes of faith, forgiveness and courage. This was well worth the read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Thomas writes the most beautiful and lyrical books. I really enjoyed getting to know Loyal in this book and watching him develop into quite the brave young man.

But since I'm a total sucker for romance I really enjoyed watching his parents' relationship heal and deepen. Second chance romance isn't my favorite, but it was so very well done in this book.

I love how this book brought to light "hand communication" and hopefully is eye opening to anyone who has limited experience around deaf people. I grew up in a town with a deaf school so I think I was pro exposed to it a little more. I don't know very many signs though.

I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. This is my honest review.
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The Right Kind of Fool is an excellent piece of historical fiction! Blending an intriguing mystery and poignant family drama, its characters are as unique and vivid as its Appalachian setting. Loyal’s point of view, especially, is well crafted and offers a sensitive and authentic-feeling portrayal of a deaf individual, complicated by his status as a boy on the cusp of manhood learning responsibility.

The slight suspense storyline is cleverly paced, with perspective changes and enough unpredictability to keep the reader guessing. All of the turmoil combines with the emotional crux the Raines family is thrown into; one that proves to be a summer of change for everyone involved. Themes of grace, trust, and strength all weave together in this beautiful and highly engaging story I would recommend to fans of historical fiction, drama, suspense, and romance alike.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.
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Sarah Loudin Thomas' The Right Kind of Fool took me right to that hot day in Beverly, West Virginia in 1934. I could feel the heat and desire to shed my shoes and dip my feet in that cool water with Loyal Raines, a young deaf teenager by my side.  He was exploring that delicious feeling we all feel when we are 14 and escaping the strictures of rules that keep us indoors when we just know we should be out having fun.  Only Loyal got more than he bargained for.  

True to her fashion of hooking the reader into her pages, this author had me reading once more into the wee hours of the night. I can't recall any book written by Sarah Loudin Thomas that didn't intrigue me from the start.  Loyal is a formidable hero who is bright for his age, able to see things many overlook and with the knack of remembering what is laid out before him.  He stumbled upon a murder, saw things that could or could not be true and the fact that he was deaf had a profound impact on all that unfolded.  I particularly liked reading his thought process throughout the book. Whether he reasoned through the clues about the murder, his parents relationship. his desire for friendships or to prove himself to his father, he was wise beyond his years.

This story is definitely a murder mystery, and it is a good one.  It is also much more.  It is about pulling people together by one young man who, when finally allowed, touches the lives of his community.  His courage is inspiring and his love is a gift.  The events of the story are almost secondary to the master weaving of a family back together.  This is an inspiring story of hope, set in a time when deaf children were not seen for their precious worth. They were different and often overlooked.  Loyal was not going to be overlooked.  Things are much improved these days, yet all of the modern conveniences pale in comparison to seeing the smiles of a group of children playing where one of them just happens to be deaf. Many thanks to #BethanyHouse and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions
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This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Loudin Thomas, but it will not be the last.  The author has an amazing gift with words.  I was pulled into the story and felt the emotions of each character.  The characters are so well developed.  And you will love some while you will be irritated with others.  But hold one…because everyone is not as they seem.

Loyal, though he suffered from hearing loss, was one of the strongest young men.  This book was so much more than a murder mystery.  It was a story of family, relationships, and forgiveness.

This book will settle into your heart and linger…long after you’ve turned the last page.  I found myself to continue exploring life with Loyal, Creed, and Delphy.  I wanted to see how Loyal matures and develops into an amazing yougn man.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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Wow, what a beautifully written story this was! Set in the early 1930s, we meet Loyal- a deaf thirteen year old boy, who while seeking some independence discovered a dead body. Uncertain where to turn, he runs to his father Creed who had all but abandoned their family many years ago. This tragic event turns their relationship and their family upside down. 

While it may have been a murder that set the story into motion, this was far from a typical murder mystery. Truly, it was more a story about people and relationships that just so happened to center around a murder. I loved seeing the relationship between Loyal and Creed grow and change, and for Creed to realize that mistakes he has made in the past with his son. I also enjoyed seeing Creed form friendships throughout the story as well. As a mom to a special needs son, that is definitely a feeling of joy that I understand all too well. Each of these characters were beautifully created with their flaws making them all the more believable. I couldn't help but want to see them all work everything out. 

Having a thirteen-year-old son myself, there were times that I felt that perhaps Loyal seemed a bit mature for his age... but then he would do something with the best of intentions, that definitely made me thing of how young teens truly are. They want their independence and want to prove themselves... but they aren't always quite sure the best way to do so.

Overall, this was a fantastic story and so well written. This was the first book I have read by the author, but certainly will not be the last. 

 **I received a copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are my own.
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Wow! This was one of the best books I’ve read this year and I’m so glad I had the chance to give this story the time it deserved. I actually put some things off to finish it. It’s that good! 
     The relationship between father and son was written in a way that gave truth and power to the story. It stirred up my emotions.
     I was touched by the tenderness Creed had for his son and his wife as he stumbled through his mistakes to find a place of restoration. 
     Loyal was wonderfully written and desired to be accepted for himself. Even though he was different, he had the same desires for family and connection that we all have. His value wasn’t in his abilities, but in his character. 
     This book was spot on from the way the scenes were written, to the smallest character. I recommend it.
     I was given a copy courtesy of Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley. This is my honest review.
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Watching this family draw back together through the solving of a murder case was sweet and compelling.  Both Creed and Delphy had to admit to themselves and each other that they had failed the family, and they learned to allow Loyal to grow up, even through their fears for him.  Loyal is deaf from a childhood illness, and it was a unique view into what it must be like to live with that.  Finding ways to relate to those around him and teaching them communication beyond words was a great reminder that there are always was to connect to those you  might not initially understand.

I give this book 4 stars.  Sarah Loudin Thomas's novels are always a little slower paced, but that really gives the reader the chance to lean into the characters and the setting.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
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Thanks to Bethany House for the free review copy. All opinions are my own.
This book had so many complex relationships mixed with a murder in the plot, which made for such a great read. I want to start by sharing my love for Loyal and appreciation that the author wrote about a deaf character and included sign language in the book. I also enjoyed Creed and his realizations as the book went on. Parental guilt can strain so many different aspects of life, and the authors exploration of this was well done. 
I also enjoyed the build of plot of who killed the man in this book. With the progression of the case, the relationships also developed. This author does Christian historical fiction well, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.
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I don't think I've ever read a book quite like this one.  It's unique and I love the time period.  

Loyal is a young boy who has been deaf since he was around two due to a serious and high fever.  He's learned sign language to overcome but he longs to be normal and have friends and go to the local school instead of the special one. 

One day he sneaks off while his mother is gone.  His father lives in the hills and he rarely sees him.  

Anyway, while he's off on his own swimming he sees a girl who he wants to be friends with running after her brother like the devil is after them.  What could be going on?

Loyal goes to investigate and finds a dead body.  He doesn't know what to do or who to turn to.  But then he knows.  And off he goes on his own to find his father.  

And so the journey begins.  Loyal knows more than he should about the body but he doesn't tell his dad.  He doesn't tell anyone. And when the boy realizes he saw them running he threatens Loyal and makes him not want to tell.  

But when it seems like someone who isn't to blame is going to take the blame the three kids have to decide what to do.  

This is a great coming of age/mystery book.  I really enjoyed the characters and watching Loyal's parents go through their overprotectiveness and working through their blame over why and how Loyal became deaf. 

I find it great to see children with disabilities in the book as I have two older brothers were cerebral palsy.  So this was part of my childhood and I actually knew people like Loyal through their support circles.  

This is a wonderful book and I hope you give it a read.  It will read quickly and leave you guessing until the end about who the real murderer is. 

I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
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The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas is an excellent fictional novel that is set in a small, rural town amid the underrated and beautiful landscapes of Appalachia in West Virginia. 

This book is so wonderful in so many ways. It is set in the 1930s, therefore lending the historical fiction setting. It includes  young deaf boy that stumbles upon a murder/mystery. This plot added a wonderful additional layer to a book, that I feel was mostly about family, acceptance, forgiveness, second chances, and finding one’s purpose. 

It is a beautifully written tale that really drives home the human desire to be needed, loved, and to have a place that one can call “home”, wherever that may be.  

I loved Loyal and the complex characters that were his family. The author did a wonderful job creating interesting, appropriate, and flawed characters that fit in the wonderfully described settings. I also really enjoyed the addition of what we now call American Sign Language (ASL) as part of Loyal’s identity and added a wonderful layer to the narrative. 

As a native to WV, I was drawn to this book, and am so glad that the author was able to bring this beautiful and unique area its due justice. WV is imperfect, just as many other locations can be, however the author’s ability to draw out its positives was impressive.

A truly amazing book.

5/5 stars

Thank you NetGalley and Bethany House Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR, Bookbub, Instagram, Amazon, and B&N accounts immediately. Publication date 11/3/20.
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I was so interested in reading this book after I learned the boy in the book was deaf and used ASL. I have always been interested in learning ASL. I attempted about 8 years ago and took a class at our Community College with my High School daughter. This year I decided to try again. Especially with Covid forcing classes to be online. I felt it would make things easier and I’m soooo glad I did! While reading the book I signed everything as it was signed in the book! It made it so much more of a book to me. I have not read many books by this author and definitely haven’t read a book where ASL is used!

The storyline kept my attention. There were so many emotions I had. I was sad, happy, angry and surprised… I love books that progress without being forced and allow me to move through emotions. I look forward to finding other books by this author and future books will be tagged on my TBR List!
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As a relatively new resident of West Virginia, the synopsis of this book caught my eye, as I’ve been trying to read more books set in my new home state.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the main characters of the book is deaf!  I enjoyed this murder mystery set in a small WV town, and I fell in love with Loyal and his parents.  Loyal’s speech reading skills were a bit too good to be true, but other than that, the author did a good job of portraying a deaf child in a realistic way.  

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Right Kind of Fool was another wonderful Appalachian tale penned by the talented Sarah Loudin Thomas. Vivid descriptions of the book’s setting blended with compelling characters and situations held me captive until the very end. A narrative of a summer in a broken family’s life, the story was a beautiful example of strength and bravery, love and reconciliation, faith and the power of the human spirit to overcome overwhelming obstacles.

Loyal Raines could not have been given a more appropriate name. He embodied the meaning of his name and more with his unquenchable determination to be “normal” despite his handicap. I loved how he did not allow his deafness to hinder him and how his brave actions brought his over-protective mother and his guilt-ridden father back together to provide Loyal the family he had always wanted.

Skillfully written with a steady plot that includes a suspenseful mystery set among the mountains of Appalachia, The Right Kind of Fool is a novel that will stay in my memory for quite awhile. I have enjoyed all the other books by this author but this one is special. I hope other readers will enjoy it as much as I did.
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When Loyal was told to stay home, he snuck away to the river and discovers a dead body. 

Loyal was a great protagonist. He refused to let his inability to hear prevent him from finding answers to the mystery he found himself in. I found myself empathizing with the character as he considered how to make himself understood to his hearing counterparts. 

I loved the characters in this book.  They seemed like people you already know. The woman with the absentee husband who devotes herself to the church, the father who works too hard, the child trying to prove his worth to a parent, the man seeking redemption in the eyes of the people he loves...we get a glimpse into multiple lives as we watch the mystery unfold. 

Near the end of the novel, there seemed to have been a rush to wrap the mystery up so the focus could shift to other things. 

There was a theme of sacrifice throughout this novel as there were a number of characters who were willing to give up their freedom or happiness to please the people they cared about. It brings to mind the ultimate sacrifice which Jesus made for sinners.

The Right Kind of Fool was a great read. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author. 

I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publishers through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.
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