Cover Image: Along a Storied Trail

Along a Storied Trail

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Member Reviews

I always look forward to reading each and every story penned by Ann H. Gabhart.  The timeline of this one is during the Great Depression set in an Appalachian Mountain community called Booneville in Kentucky about the packhorse librarians.  A book was never better titled than this one as you really do get to ride along a storied trail as you join Tansy on her book route.  

Tansy Calhoun, one of the packhorse librarians, is our main character who has a passion for reading and sharing that passion with others.  This is a dream job to her, as she truly loves taking the books to the readers on her route.  The packhorse librarians creed is similar to that of the postal service except due to safety concerns not only for themselves but for their mule or horse were home by dark.  Nothing ever went to waste as magazines and books that were damaged beyond repair were cut up and made into reading/teaching stories for children.  Recipes and quilt patterns were collected by the librarians from women on the librarian’s routes and made into small pamphlets to be passed around from home to home.  

The banter between the characters was some of the best I have ever read.  I laughed out loud and cried too.  One of my favorites was Aunt Perdie praying to God “But it would be nice to have somebody to sit with me by the fire.”  A few moments later a young pregnant woman, beaten, bruised, and 1/2 frozen knocks on her door.  After Aunt Perdie gets her settled by the fire she remembers “Hiram used to tell her a person needed to be careful what they prayed for.”

Cannot rave enough about the character development in this story from beginning to end.  Everyone always asks me who is my favorite.  Hands down it is Perdita Sweet aka Aunt Perdie even though she was actually nobodies aunt and to most people not sweet. However things can happen both bad and good to change a person’s outlook on life.  I recommend you read this wonderful story and you will see why I chose Aunt Perdie as my favorite.  

Bless you Ann H. Gabhart for writing this story, allowing us to ride with Tansy along her book route, meet all of the wonderful people who live around the community of Booneville and view the beautiful mountain scenery.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell via NetGalley for Interviews & Reviews.  I was under no obligation to write a favorable review.  All opinions are my own.
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Another fabulous book by Ann Gabhart is Along a Storied Trail. This book will bring you with a lovely story to the hills of Kentucky, in a village called Appalachia. That name corresponds quite a bit to the name of the horse race: Appaloosa. Horses, then, have everything to do with this book. The main character, Tansy Calhoun is a riding librarian, at least she helps her fellow villagers by bringing books so they can read and not necessarily think about all the troubles that happened to them during the Great Depression. But Tansy hopes that eventually she too will find the love of her life, just like in the books she brings around. As a newcomer settles into the village, Tansy finds out that everything is not as simple as it seems. Is the man she hopes for closer than she thinks? And then you have Perdita or aunt Perdy, an old spinster who likes nothing better than to interfere with Tansy's choice. Is Perdita's choice also Tansy's choice?
This book was great to read. Ann Gabhart is truly a storyteller and she does it very well. I loved reading how the characters were formed and how Tansy does make her choice in the end. It was really nice to read how wise Perdita was even though she was a spinster. The faith alone did not come out very well in it. But overall is this  a book that will not let you go easily.

This book has everything that a historical romance needs to have. If you loved The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow from Kim Vogel Sawyer or Wonderland Creek from Lynn Austin, then is this book definitely a match for you!
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I love old Spinsters who are wise and kind of sassy! This book was so sweet and funny and just heartwarming! I loved it! I'm new to Ms. Gabharts books but I will be reading more after this! It was neat to read about a packhorse librarian! Makes you thankful to live in the 2000's!
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I wrestled with this book. I really enjoyed it, but at the same time it was hard because it's pretty similar to books I've already read on this time period with the book deliveries. I do have to say though that I enjoyed the romance!
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I knew I was going to like this newest book by Ann Gabhart just by reading the synopsis (that plus I love everything she writes).  What an interesting tale set in the hills of Eastern Kentucky in the 1930’s, when the mountain folk were either friendly or quirky. And no one more quirky then Aunt Perdie – I loved watching her gruff exterior get peeled away, and become “confoundedly content”. This story is about Tansy, one of the amazing packhorse librarians who traveled the hills not only delivering reading materials, but were often the only people some of these mountain folk saw for days.  Tansy would read to them, share tales, and was a true friend to the people.  I especially enjoyed her friendship with Caleb and sweet Coralee.  

I received a copy of this book from the Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley and was under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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This book has a wonderful setting: the Appalachian mountains during the depression era. Tansy has the perfect job as a horseback librarian. She travels over the mountains to her neighbours, to bring and collect books. 

The story is sweet and slow-paced. I cared for each and every character, as the author portrayed them all realistically.

If you like historical fiction, and don't mind a story where the setting takes more of a centre place than the plot, I recommend this for sure.
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I always look forward to a new book by this author knowing I will read an informative historical book.
I have read most of her books over the years and have learned a lot about the customs of the people,their dialect,types of foods they eat,etc.
There have been quite a few books out about packhorse librarians in the past several years and this is the best I have read as far as feeling the authenticity of the situation.
The author's books are always very well researched, you feel as though you can place yourself in the setting she is writing about.
You can feel the despair these mountain people have but yet they keep going on, they are strong and have a strong faith that will bring them through their troubles.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is a fun story about a packhorse librarian in rural Appalachia in Kentucky during the Great Depression. These librarians were hired to ride out into the very rural areas and bring books for people to read to inspire literacy. It was part of a WPA program funded by the US Government to give people job opportunities. Tansy Calhoun is a packhorse librarian and loves the opportunity to bring books to the people in her area. She helps these people in other ways because she becomes involved in their lives. But she must choose between her faithful first love and an interesting outsider who has come into the area to write about the area for another job project. There is so much rich detail here about the life and times of these people in rural Kentucky.

I have voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion
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I’ve read a few books on this subject that showed job challenges and how it was difficult to get people to use the packhorse library service. What makes this story different is how this gifted author has readers experience this challenging job though the eyes of a 20-year-old Tansy Calhoun who was raised in the hills, loves her job, has a passion for reading and shares that passion with others in her community. Tansy spends long hours in the Appalachian Mountains delivering books, and sometimes reading them to the children before she goes to her next stop. It was fun to learn how Tansy and her co-workers used the old torn donated magazines to make fun, colorful books for kids to read. Tansy was creative in making the books and sharing them with her patrons.

I was drawn into this story through believable characters like Tansy Calhoun, and Caleb Barton who both love their home, family, and the community they grew up in. The author reveals how they learned how to care for their neighbors as everyone was struggling, there was no shame in it. I also enjoyed other characters like Damien Feldings and the old cranky, prickly Perdita Sweet who give readers a good look at the community and an insight into their beliefs about love, marriage and how the town’s people felt about change. There were threads of faith and hope I enjoyed. I felt part of this group. I enjoyed these authors well times humor sprinkled throughout the novel, like this quote from cranky Perdita, “Perdie prays that God will bring her someone to care for. Soon, a young woman, beaten, bruised and cold, appears at her front door. She says, “A person needed to be careful what they prayed for.”

This story will tug at your heart and give you a peek at other jobs created during this time such as the writing project Damien was involved in, and where Caleb worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps where he planted trees. He learned about the chestnut trees. He was the first to noticed there was a problem with them.  All this gave readers a well-rounded look at the struggles people endured and how they creatively worked together to make it through this touch patch. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
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This is a wonderful book that gives us a glimpse into a time period where folks worked hard to survive. I really enjoyed getting to know Tansy. Her love of books makes her perfect as a packhorse librarian. It must have been hard taking books to people way up in the mountains during all kinds of weather. She loved doing it  because it gave others enjoyment . Can you imagine the only was to get books was to rely on someone who came by horse? I thought it was sad that the books were not in good shape and outdated. It was interesting to read how much getting books has changed. It makes me appreciate libraries so much more.

There is much to love about the book as we find two men vying for the attention of Tansy. One is familiar to her  and the other is a new addition to the town. I can see how Tansy’s head was turned by the new fellow. After all he is polished, full of adventure and nice to look at. However, sometimes looks can  be deceiving. 

The best character of the book for me was Aunt Perdie. She is one firecracker not to be messed with . She is full of stories that can keep you entertained for days. Her cat is not friendly and Aunt Perdie is definitely someone you want on your side. I liked how in the wake of a disaster she still finds something to be thankful for. As we get to know Perdie we can see the heartaches she has overcome and the wisdom she has gained. I loved following along the trail as tragedy, forgiveness and hope bring this story to a great ending. 

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads . The review is my own opinion.
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Well written. It seemed a bit like so many other stories, not an original story line besides the setting. I would recommend to others.
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I think I've read all the packhorse librarian stories out there. I'm a Kentucky girl and I love to read stories set in my state. Ann Gabhart's retelling of this time in our state's history stood out to me as the most authentic. 

I loved that her characters were complex and not just poor, ignorant mountain people. 
I loved that she allowed her heroine Tansy to reject the affections of the "man of aplomb" from out of town in favor of her hometown boy. 
I loved that she threw in a reference to Mrs. Roosevelt's visit to Morgan County- my own home county. Of course, I wasn't alive to have experienced it, but it did make a lasting impact on those who were. There was even a huge spread in my middle school yearbook that honored the history of the building when we closed the school that Mrs. Roosevelt opened. 

But I digress. 

Despite a slow start, this book won me over with a rich story full of God's grace and redemption. 
Thanks to Netgalley and Revell for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I have always found it interesting learning about the librarians that went out on horseback and other means to take books to those who could not come and get them.  It would be an interesting job to have as you would get to go and see all the neighbors, although the travel might be a bit much.  Tansy Calhoun has such a job and while delivering her books often has time to daydream and one day thinks that her dreams have come true as a new man comes to town.  She has to decide though what is best, what her heart, or head (and others) think as she continues down her path.

I received a copy to read, the review is mine.
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It has been awhile since I was blessed to read a book by Ann Gabhart and every time I open a new one I remember just how much I like her novels. Along a Storied Trail is a perfectly delightful tale filled with the most wonderfully intriguing characters.

Tansy was a heroine with whom I could easily identify. She shared my love of books but that love pointed her to an entire world outside her beloved mountains that she wanted to see for herself. Meanwhile she has put her love of books into action by working as a packhorse librarian, taking books to neighbors hungry for them, sometimes during quite adverse weather conditions.

Besides colorful and sometimes quirky characters such as Perdita (you just have to read about her for yourself), the plot contains ample action and emotional scenes to satisfy most readers. A surprise romance also added to my enjoyment.

Tansy finds herself torn between the visiting author from the big city and her long-time friend Caleb who has recently returned to the mountain. I loved how the author portrayed both men in a positive manner while making it obvious whose strength of character was stronger.

Along a Storied Trail is a must read for book lovers as well as those who enjoy stories of mountain life. I encourage you to pick up a copy as soon as possible.
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I have never read any of Ms. Gabhart's writing before, and I am so glad that I was able to read this book! I loved it from beginning to end. Faith was woven in throughout the whole story, and the characters all showed such growth. Tansy was a lovable heroine, as well as totally relatable. Sometimes it is hard to know where your heart is leading you, as she discovered, but she also stayed true to herself, knowing that she belonged in the mountains and working with books as she so loves to do. I was very interested in the packhorse librarian job. I had not really heard of that before, and I really saw that the women loved what they did. Caleb and Tansy's story was really sweet. Love will always prevail! I also really, really, really appreciated that this was a clean book, nothing to blush about here! So thank you for that. I wasn't sure where she was going with Aunt Perdie, and what she had to offer to the story, but I found myself warming up to her and actually rooting for her to get her happily ever after, too. I look very forward to spending time reading more of Ms. Gabhart's novels in the not-so-distant future.

**Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.**
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Set up high in Appalachia during the depression comes a heartwarming tale of love and family.

Tansy Calhoun has found her dream job supporting her family as packhorse librarian, sharing her love of reading with those in her community, as hard times draw them even closer. Caleb Barton is back to help his family after the death of his brother and years working with the CCC. In the past his feelings have been misinterpreted but do his hopes have a chance against his mother's solutions?

A pleasant and enjoyable read set in the beautiful Appalachians, during the Great Depression, which is one of my favorite places and times to read about. The story takes its time wending its way through the characters and their various situations, I especially liked sweet little Coralee, how she soothes the way for others, helping out where she can, and her friendship with Aunt Perdita.

Caleb is a responsible man, always ready to help out, but I also liked that he showed his backbone and put this foot down when people tried to push him too far.  

Overall, this was a great read with a full cast of intriguing characters that I came to care for over the course of the book. The pacing was slower than I was used to, and there were times when I felt that the plot felt predictable, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I definitely could see where it was ultimately headed. I loved the slow build friendships and relationships, this was a heartwarming read of faith, family and friendship. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Ann Gabhart uses her marvelous gift of storytelling to craft a fine tale of a Kentucky packhorse librarian named Tansy Calhoun and the plights of her family and friends set during the Depression. The story includes much more than book learning—it’s an account of life itself and exploring and growing as the characters discover more about the world and about themselves, with which readers can easily identify. Heart-touching moments abound in this endearing novel as well as sacrifice and love. I think this is my favorite of all the author’s books. I loved it. I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own. #AlongaStoriedTrail #NetGalley
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Ann H. Gabhart never fails to write sweet, gentle stories that capture the setting and characters, and this book was no exception.  It takes place in the Appalachian hills during the Great Depression and is the story of Tansy, a packhorse librarian who is waiting for a romance like in the books she reads, only to find out it was close to home all along.  The love and support the family showed each other in hard times was truly inspirational, and the book has a wonderful message about preservation and waiting for things to happen in due time.  I also loved the details she included about the packhorse project and the language of the characters.  This is a very heart-warming book!
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This cover does incredible justice to this book. I like how it pulls the reader in and shows the vastness of the mountains and shows Tansy with the great big wilderness all around her. This was a story about a mountain people with strong characters living their lives during the Great Depression. These were not people who were getting rich or were rich and lost everything. No, these were a people who were fairly poor in material wealth but were still affected by what was happening in the country.

They may have been poor, but they were certainly rich in their strong opinions and their neighborliness. I enjoyed their mountain gruffness and their strength. Especially the women. Tansy is a book girl or the more official name, a packhorse librarian. She carries the books and stories these people need to them. While doing this she can also check up on them, especially old spinster Perdie Sweet.

I really enjoyed everything about this story. The atmosphere, the characters, the time and the place. There were a few love stories to also make this story enjoyable and the way the characters reacted with one another was just a little bit different then now a days. This was a great trip to the Appalachian Mountains.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all of my views and opinions are my own.
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This historical fiction story set in the 1930’s depression era in Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky is a masterful, picturesque, and winsome story. This fantastic story is filled with the dialect of the mountain people, history that is not well known with the packhorse librarians and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Tansy Calhoun loved her job as a packhorse librarian and was clever in how she created new stories for the children along with other packhorse librarians. Caleb Barton had been away working for the Civilian Conservation Corps and was surprised to find Tansy unwed when he returned. The events for all the families had struggles, misunderstandings, but a desire to help their neighbors. All the characters jumped off of the pages to become friends and family throughout the story while wanting only the best for them. The creativity of this story is superb with a true glimpse of the mountain people during a difficult time in our history. There is a sweet inspirational message that lives can be changed no matter  what the errors of their ways may have been in the past. 

I have enjoyed reading Gabhart books and this one was a top notched one. I would like to see a continuation of these characters in another book. 

I received a complimentary copy from the author, NetGalley and Revell publisher without any obligation to write a positive review. I have shared my own personal thoughts.
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