The Right Kind of Fool

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 03 Nov 2020 | Archive Date 22 Dec 2020
Bethany House, Bethany House Publishers

Talking about this book? Use #TheRightKindofFool #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he'd obeyed his mother. The ripples caused by his discovery will impact the town of Beverly, West Virginia, in ways no one could have imagined.

The first person those ripples disturb is Loyal's absentee father. When Creed Raines realized his infant son was deaf, he headed for the hills, returning only to help meet his family's basic needs. But when Loyal, now a young teen, stumbles upon a murder it's his father he runs to tell--shaping the words with his hands. As Creed is pulled into the investigation he discovers that what sets his son apart isn't his inability to hear but rather his courage. Longing to reclaim the life he abandoned, Creed will have to do more than help solve a murder if he wants to win his family's hearts again. 

Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he'd obeyed his mother...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780764234019
PRICE $15.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 40 members


Featured Reviews

This author brilliantly takes readers inside this fourteen-year-old boy’s deaf, mute world as Loyal tries to communicate with the hearing, who think that talking slower and louder will help him understand what they are saying. I felt for him as he is frantic for someone to realize the urgency of the situation. Parents of special needs children often become estranged and play the blame game. Such is the case with Loyal’s parents Delphy and Creed. Creed used to be sheriff of this small town in Virginia until he ran away to the hills to be alone . Which had his wife Delphy throw herself into learning all she could about how to communicate with her son. My heart ached for this young boy and his parents as they try to communicate with Loyal to find out what he saw. Loyal seeks out his dad, who finally understands he’s found a body in the woods. After this news spreads to this small community, his parents try to shield Loyal from the town’s ignorance and fear. The author has the characters and this situation spring to life as Loyal and his friends try to piece this puzzle together in hopes of tracking down the killer. My heart hurt for Loyal and his family as they faced this tragedy. The author tells readers she first got the idea for this story when she learned of a murder that happened in 1932, West Virginia. The person who discovered the body was a young deaf-mute….”From that seed sprouted Loyal – a thirteen-year-old boy who’s deaf but not altogether mute. And he does indeed use American Sign Language, something that must have been an oddity in a small town in 1930s West Virginia.” This story will have you looking differently at the world around you and how to communicate within our community and to others that are different. I liked how Loyal’s parents realized they had to let their son grow up. They couldn’t protect him from everything in this world (every parent has to learn that lesson). This book is one that would work well for your book club pick. There is so much to discover in this story. If you haven’t read a book by this author, you’ll definitely want to experience this story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. 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 www.bookfun.org

Was this review helpful?

Oh man, this book! This book! Right from the get-go it totally tugged at my heartstrings. I'm totally a character-driven reader, so if you don't give me good characters, you've lost me. Well, with this book, there are so many characters to absolutely fall in love with. There's 13-year-old Loyal, who is bright and loving and wants to fit in despite being deaf--and who also wants to both make his parents proud and do whatever he can to help them. There's Creed, Loyal's father, who blames himself for Loyal's deafness and has retreated from his family, living and working on a nearby mountain and only visiting his family periodically. There's Delphy, Loyal's mother, who is desperate to protect her son and who wishes her husband would come back while simultaneously wishing she didn't care about him so he couldn't let her down again. It's tough to pick which character to love the most; they all were so REAL and their pain and worries and hopes were so vividly portrayed. Take such beautiful characters and weave them together, and wow, what a great start to a story. I loved reading every single one of their interactions, as the three of them are trying to figure out how to interact with each other. They're all good people who are trying hard so you know it's going to turn out all right in the end, but it was still so touching to read each moment. So, take amazing characters (I won't get into the secondary characters other than to say they were great, too) and then add in a really interesting plot (I couldn't wait to find out whodunit!) and a setting that is so well-written that you just immediately feel like you've slipped into West Virginia in 1934, and you've got one heck of a book! This is one of those books that will stick with you. I adored it from start to finish. This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year! I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Things don't have to be perfect to get the job done. That was something that Creed Raines had been a long time in learning. Sarah Loudin Thomas challenges her readers to consider the cost of seeking perfection, the cost of making safety and security top priorities. She does this through immersing readers in Loyal Raines' coming-of-age story. Having lost his hearing nine years earlier as a four-year-old, Loyal's deep desires to fit in in a hearing world, to be loved and supported by a father who was burdened with guilt, and to be trusted by a mother who wanted to shelter him, propel him through both the difficulties and adventures of the summer of 1934, the summer he found the dead man on the river bank. I read this book in two days being compelled to put aside much else in order to see how Thomas would work out all of the different aspects of this story. She wove a beautiful tale of learning, trusting, loving, and redemption. I most highly recommend The Right Kind of Fool, and am grateful to have received a complimentary copy from Bethany House via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I think I'll start this review with a quote because it reminded me of what my mom used to say to me all the time I was growing up. And you know what? She was right in more ways than one. "God doesn't let us get away with anything. He just leaves us to make our own beds and lay in them, whether we like it or not." In other words God is letting us make our own choices whether bad or good. I think this saying goes perfect for this story in West Virginia 1934. Thomas writes this so very well that she made me go all in from the very beginning to the end. Even afterwards these characters won't let you go. Thomas also writes with precision making her characters seem real especially with Loyal. ( I love this name. It's very unusual. I kept wanting to call him Royal lol) In my opinion he's the true hero of this novel. I've really enjoyed in getting to know him. In some ways, I feel like he's the brother I never had. Loyal's parents made my heart sing as well...I loved reading about these two and watching the many changes that were happening to them. Well, really the whole family. I even loved the secondary characters because they were what made this novel so very wonderful. Some people don't like change even if it's for the good. I don't like change. I mean even though I made a decision that was where the quote from the beginning of my review came into play. I also am thinking that people can be afraid of different or in something they don't understand. Fear is a major factor and it can drive people to do something they don't normally do.. Well, just wanted the author to know how much I enjoyed this book and spent most the night trying to finish this book. It was such a meaningful and beautiful story. I love the mountain people's language. I think this what really made the story come alive for me. I'm giving this title 5 stars. Reason; the beautiful cover, a story well written, the wonderful characters that came alive for me and because the author has provided a few snickers throughout the novel.. I like a novel that is serious but yet with a little humor added to it. Thank you Sarah Thomas for another great story from the mountains! I hope there's more in the future! I highly recommend this novel. Really and truly y'all need to read this. My thanks to Bethany house/Netgalley for a copy of this eBook. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All.opinions are my own

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed reading this novel as it deals with many relationship issues. Creed is a troubled father, plagued by guilt at the thought of causing his son's deafness. His wife is over protective of Loyal, fearing that letting him have some freedom will cause more harm. Husband and wife have an opportunity to heal their relationship, if they are willing to forgive old hurts. And Loyal is in the midst of it all, facing so many challenges. I liked how Thomas developed his character, making a few mistakes but being willing to be courageous too. This novel is about characters. There are friendships at stake, like between Loyal and the two kids he likes but finds are tangled up in the murder. Loyal must decide whether friendship or truth is more important. Creed has so much to figure out about himself and the relationships he has with his wife and his son. At times he must choose between obeying the law and doing what he feels is best for his son. Interwoven through the character and relationship issues is the murder. It provides a good framework for characters to grow and issues be resolved. Thomas did a good job of providing plenty of suspects yet keeping the actual killer veiled until near the end. I highly recommend this coming of age novel. Loyal courageously comes to grips with his deafness. Creed is able to move through his feelings of guilt and inadequacy. And the community learns that being different is not a bad thing. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Right Kind of Fool, by Sarah Loudin Thomas, is a great story of a thirteen year old boy, Loyal. He lost his hearing and speech after getting sick as a young boy. Shortly after, his father moved to the mountain near the family home, visiting only for short times. Loyal was at the river when he ran across a dead man. He ran to his father for help. HIs father, being a former law enforcement worker, takes charge of reporting the incident while keeping his son out of the investigation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well written with strong characters, lots of action and many twists and turns. It was hard to put this book down as I wanted to know who done it. I enjoyed seeing how determined Loyal was to keep the other children safe and to become friends with them while teaching them how to communicate with him. I especially enjoyed how the father just dropped everything to help solve the crime and work on his relationship with his wife and son. I received an ebook copy of this book from Bethany Publishing through NetGalley, this is my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Creed, Loyal's father, had been all kinds of a fool for leaving his wife and deaf son. Even if he felt responsible for the loss of Loyal's hearing. When Loyal came to him for help after discovering a dead man, he began to realize that. Only a fool wouldn't see what a kind, clever, and brave young man his son had become. And only a fool wouldn't humble himself and do all he could to woo his wife back into loving him. And only the right kind of fool would take a chance to undo his mistakes. The Right Kind of Fool is a deeply emotional story about broken people working to put the pieces of their lives together. It is told from the perspectives of all three members of the Raines family, Loyal, Creed, and Delphy. I loved the lessons each of them learned as they dealt with the repercussions of the murder. I felt that I was able to understand Loyal's world of only four senses. He was so kind, capable, and courageous. He understood that the world around him experienced things he didn't because he couldn't hear and yet that never stopped him from wanting the freedom to simply be a boy. Or from wanting to be treated like the independent young man every thirteen-year-old boy feels he is! The mystery deepened as Loyal and Creed attempted to solve it. And though I thought I knew exactly what happened - I realized I couldn't be right! The mystery played a prominent part in this story even though it was much more about the Raines family dynamics. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction wouldn't be foolish taking time to read this wonderful story!

Was this review helpful?

In the summer of 1934, deaf teenager Loyal Raines stumbles across a dead body in the river. Life as he knows it forever changes that day. But, Loyal learns that not all change is a bad thing… The Right Kind of Fool has a hopeful message of faith, overcoming obstacles and gracing those around you with second chances. If you enjoy women’s fiction and small-town crime solving, The Right Kind of Fool is the right kind of book for you! It’s available now – visit Baker Book House to purchase a copy. I received a complimentary advanced electronic copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. A positive review was not required. Opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

A thought provoking story about a young deaf boy, how he happens on a dead body, and what kinds of unexpected events this brings to his summer. Sarah Loudin Thomas has done an exceptional job at bringing Loyal to life. Excellent voice, and then an intriguing storyline. Seekers, searching for meaning in life, forgiveness, acceptance, and much more. This tale is rich in so many things. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Was this review helpful?

The Right Kind of Fool This sweet, gentle book was exactly what I needed. Even though it is essentially a murder mystery, the themes of friendship, first love, family ties, and belonging make it the perfect comfort read. Sarah Loudin Thomas has a lovely writing style. Her pacing is perfect through out. I love the character's growth and the family dynamics. Loyal is a wonderful hero. I hope to see more books that feature main characters with disabilities in the future. His hearing impairment added such depth to the story. I hope we get to visit Beverly, West Virginia again. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher for the purpose of review.

Was this review helpful?

I'll be honest, I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this... A powerful novel that sneaked it's way into my heart chapter by chapter. The Right Kind of Fool is not your everyday murder mystery, no, it is so much better. The father who didn't know his son, the mother trying to protect her son, and the boy who could no longer hear, each point of view was written in such a way that you will be pulled into a story of learning, reconciliation, hope, and a family's love. I am so glad I picked up a copy of "The Right Kind of Fool" and it may have wiggled into a top ten favorite books this year... I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

What an exquisite, captivating story! This is the first of Sarah Loudin Thomas' books I've read, but it won't be the last. She does a beautiful job of writing from the unique perspective of Loyal, a young deaf teenager in 1934 rural West Virginia. I loved the way she was able to incorporate sign language into the story! When he accidentally discovers a dead body one summer day, a whole chain of events is set in motion that changes how everyone sees him - his parents, his friends, the community, and even himself. While the mystery keeps the plot moving, the richly engaging characters are the stars of the show. Loyal’s growth throughout the book is compelling, as he is forced to make some hard choices. I loved the way he and his father begin to see each other from a new perspective and learn from each other as the story progresses, and Loyal and Rebecca’s growing friendship provided more touching moments. I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, especially Joanne Bischof's Blackbird Mountain series! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

"The Right Kind of Fool" is historical fiction set in 1934 in West Virginia. A mystery motivated the events and was the focus of the story, but the point of the story was how the family came to appreciate each other and united once again. Loyal's father was asked to help the sheriff solve the crime. Loyal didn't see the actual murder but saw enough that he knew critical clues. Two other kids were involved, including one who's at ease interacting with him even though he's deaf. The adults didn't initially realize that Loyal had useful information, and later Loyal wanted to solve the mystery by himself to prove that he didn't need to be isolated and protected. The father (and mother) and the kids made some bad decisions for good reasons, and they had to work through the consequences of those actions. They learned and grew from it, becoming better people. The main characters were complex, realistic people. The mystery was interesting and based on some historical things that were happening at the time. The historical details were woven into the story and brought the time period to life in my imagination. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I highly recommend this well-written historical fiction.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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!

Was this review helpful?

Another masterpiece by Sarah Loudin Thomas. A captivating read. Beautifully written. Well crafted characters. Tender. Emotional. Highly recommended. Five stars.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: