If you enjoyed the classic novel Christy and the bestselling Mitford series, then you’ll love Beautiful on the Mountain, a real-life tale about serving God in unlikely circumstances. In 1977, Jeannie Light left her fine plantation home amid heartbreak and came to Graves Mill, a tiny hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Alone in an utterly new kind of life, Jeannie was determined to find the courage to make a fresh start.
To Jeannie’s surprise, she found herself called upon by her new neighbors to open the old, deteriorated country church, a place that had once united the fractured community of mountain folk. With no training, and no small amount of trepidation, she undertook the task. And as she embarked on an unforeseen series of adventures, from heartbreaking to hilarious, Jeannie would learn more than she ever expected about faith, loving your neighbor, and doing the work that God sets in front of you. Because sometimes, God calls us to go where there is no path . . . and leave a trail.
It took me a long time to get through this book. I read it for a week and it is only about 250 pages long. I just couldn’t get into it and I never experienced that feeling of “I can’t go to sleep until I find out what happens”. Jeannie presents an intriguing, sympathetic character, as a woman reeling from a divorce and forced to make a new life for herself. The setting is obviously beautiful, on the mountains in Virginia.
In my opinion, what held this book back from being great was the lack of depth in relationships. I don’t mean to say that the author didn’t have deep, meaningful relationships with her neighbors. It just didn’t seem to translate into the book. I would have liked to have read a lot more interactions and stories about the mountain folk, and less about the authors trips back to the city for her classes and such.
Perhaps my expectations were too high, because I adored the Mitford series. However, I can imagine that this book would appeal to some readers, but it wasn’t great for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.