It's 1932 and Sullivan Harris is on the run. An occasionally successful dowser, he promised the people of Kline, West Virginia, that he would find them water. But when wells turned up dry, he disappeared with their cash just a step or two ahead of Jeremiah Weber, who was elected to run him down.
Postmistress Gainey Floyd is suspicious of Sulley's abilities when he appears in her town but reconsiders after new wells fill with sweet water. Rather, it's Sulley who grows uneasy when his success makes folks wonder if he can find more than water--like forgotten items or missing people. He lights out to escape such expectations and runs smack into something worse.
Hundreds of men have found jobs digging the Hawks Nest Tunnel--but what they thought was a blessing is killing them. And no one seems to care. Here, Sulley finds something new--a desire to help. With it, he becomes an unexpected catalyst, bringing Jeremiah and Gainey together to find what even he has forgotten: hope.
"Sarah Loudin Thomas never disappoints! The Finder of Forgotten Things brings together a rich cast of characters, each at war with conflicting desires and ultimately destined to decide whether, even in the worst events, redemption waits to be discovered."--LISA WINGATE, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends
"In a hardscrabble 1930s setting, complex characters wrestle with justice, mercy, inequality, honesty, and the fact that they are all prodigals still searching for the way home. Loudin Thomas delivers a stunning tale of one of the worst industrial disasters in U.S. history, underlined with a moral imperative to love one's neighbor that still hits home today."--Library Journal
"Loudin Thomas introduces a multifaceted cast desperately trying to survive the Great Depression in 1930s West Virginia, in this strong historical. . . . The small-town plot's set against the real-life Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster. . . . giving Loudin Thomas impetus to underline the impact of acts of caring in a community." --Publishers Weekly
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Average rating from 22 members
"The Finder of Forgotten Things" is historical fiction set in 1932 in West Virginia. Sulley grew up in an orphanage and never knew his parents. He feels like he doesn't belong anywhere, so he wanders around offering his services as a water-finder. When he encounters Gainey, he wants to make her reconsider her impression that he's a fraud. Jeremiah and Gainey were also viewpoint characters and were the romantic pair. Gainey had to give up her newborn son for adoption but never told anyone. When she found an object indicating a dead man might be her son, she asked Jeremiah and Sulley for help. Sulley half hoped that Gainey was his mother, so he helped track down the truth. Jeremiah and Gainey admired each other and grew closer as they worked together. The main characters were complex, realistic people. I cared about what happened to them, especially lonely Sulley. The historical details were woven into the story and brought the time period to life in my imagination. It's so sad what happened at the Hawks Nest Tunnel. Jeremiah and Gainey believed in God and that motivated them to treat others as valuable. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I highly recommend this well-written historical fiction.
This story begins in 1932 in West Virginia, and is set with so many emotions, there will be tears and smiles, and you will be quickly turning pages for answers. I'll admit my mind went to the TV show The Walton's, and in a way the time period is the same. Times are hard, but come and meet Gainey, Jeremiah, and Sulley, wonderful characters, all with flaws but we see how much they care for their fellow man. I didn't know about the Hawks Nest Tunnel, but it made me so upset, so much injustice, for me I remember part of a song the said, you owe your soul to the company story, and it sure played out here. I loved the way this story played out, and what a great ending! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
I loved this book full of heart, angst, faith, and the power of friendship. Though based around a great historical tragedy of the early 1930s, the characters were written with authenticity and planted me squarely in the middle of their lives. I felt their triumphs and heartache as I walked through everything with them. The social issues of the day are touched upon without making them the crux of the story which I appreciated. Gainey is a woman I could connect with, and the friendship between Jeremiah and Sully was one I didn’t expect. The ages of the main characters surprised me as it wasn’t clear to me at the beginning of the story, however it did not detract from my investment in this book. If anything it added to the satisfaction I felt at the end. I highly recommend this book. I was given a copy courtesy of Baker Publishing House. This is my honest opinion of the book.
Wow! Such a heartwarming story full of life's journey's and lessons along the way. I so enjoyed this story penned by Sarah Thomas. I love this quote " That's when I knew that love was stronger than any mistake. That's why I knew I could come home. " Yes, God's love is strong and we can come home to Him anytime. God is always there. He will never leaves us or forsake us. Another of my favorite phrases. Such wonderful characters! I loved getting to know Jeremiah, Sully and Gainey. Some of this made me want to cry for certain characters and I found myself praying for them. As always with Historical novels I learn about something new each time. You'll not want to put this sweet story down once you start it. It will sweep you into another time and place and you'll not want to come back to the present. For some reason I really liked Sully best. I liked how the author portrays him with not so perfect ways. He made me smile with his antics too. Jeremiah is quite the storyteller. He made me grin at a special story he told. That made my evening. Thank you Ms. Thomas for another of your wonderful stories. Please keep them coming and I especially loved the theme of the book. It's my favorite Bible story! My thanks for a copy of this book, I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own 5 stars for a well written novel!
'Other people's expectations can make you do all sorts of things against your better judgment.' Sometimes you just settle down deep into a book and forget the present time. This happened to me here. Sarah Loudin Thomas has such a wonderful way with the written word and her stories are so rich and full. Set in 1932 for the most part, The Finder of Forgotten Things brings three unlikely people together on a journey that none will ever forget. Sully, Jeremiah and Gainey are three people who seem as if they would never form a relationship with each other. And yet they do and all three are made better by knowing the others. Thomas brings in actual history here, the Hawks Nest Tunnel and the horrific dangers it caused. I was not familiar with this event in history and her research compelled me to learn more. Thomas manages to craft the best characters and not just the main protagonists, either. All her characters are wonderful, even the secondary ones and make reading about them a great pleasure. Things forgotten are sometimes found and are treasured all the more greatly for having been found after a long while. I love this writer's work for she makes you richer for having read her books. Highly recommended. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via the Net Galley platform. The opinion in this review is entirely my own.
Althugh THE FINDER OF FORGOTTEN THINGS by SARAH LOUDIN THOMAS deals with such things as the building of the Hawks Nest Tunnel and the tragedy that befell so many of those who were employed underground, racial discrimination, the sadness of Sulley’s rejection by his mother and Gainey’s shame and guilt for giving up the baby that was born to her out of wedlock, there is definitely a strong sense of hope and second chances running through the novel. The Christian message is strong as we are reminded that, although we may be forgotten by men, our Heavenly Father never forgets us. As Jeremiah said of Sulley, the mostly unsuccessful and unscrupulous dowser of wells, who turned to finding people instead, “Maybe God’s been using you all along to find the things He didn’t want to be forgotten.” The story starts in 1932 with school teacher Jeremiah Weber setting off from Kline in his Model T Ford to find Sullivan Harris, the dowser who ran off with people’s hard earned cash after failing to deliver what he promised them. He ends up in Mount Lookout where he finds an interesting and friendly community. That is all I am going to tell you as I do not want to spoil the read for you. I found the book most inspirational, with a good story and likeable characters. I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
This was the perfect book to read leading up to Thanksgiving - a story about having gratitude for all that you have been given, even if it may not look the way you expect it to. Even though the story centers around the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel tragedy, but it still ends with a sense of hope. And while the story is a good one, the best part of this book is the characters. Sarah Loudin Thomas has a wonderful way of creating characters to care about, from sweet, precocious Arbutus, to caring, headstrong Gainey, to even tricky Sully. I will miss them all! Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a sweet, quiet story. Sometimes it moved a bit slowly, but I was in the mood for some comfort reading so I didn't mind at all. There is a delightful middle age romance that was a lot fun, and also a happy-go-lucky swindler with a heart of gold that has a lot to learn about life and people. There's a lot of sadness and sickness in this book, but there is also a lot of hope and healing. I definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy more thought provoking reads. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley for the purpose of review.