“What Momma Left Behind” by Cindy K. Sproles was a unique book in so many ways. Published by Revell in the summer of 2020, this book is set in the Appalachian Mountains in 1877, when influenza and typhoid outbreaks were running rampant in the region and left few families untouched by tragedy. Because of this setting, Cindy’s novel is definitely not a light and carefree story – but one that is inspiring and rich in historical details.
One of the first things I noticed about this story is the first-person narration, complete with 1870s-Appalachian language. And not only is the dialogue written in this style, but rather the entire story reads like it is the heroine’s personal journal, complete with accurate vernacular throughout. This was a bit difficult to get used to at first, but over time I realized that it made the story come to life in a unique way, and really made me feel as though I was there.
As for the storyline itself, it was a harsh and raw and difficult one – there was no sugarcoating of anything here! “What Momma Left Behind” was not an easy book to read, but it was an eye-opening and powerful one. The historic Appalachians were clearly a fascinating place, and this story brings the people of these mountains to life with color and beauty – and often severity. In any case this book was a challenge to read, but one that will linger in memory for a long time to come.
I received this book courtesy of Revell Publishing, in participation with a Revell Reads Blog Tour. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.