Review: Beyond These Hills by Sandra Robbins

November 23, 2013

Title: Beyond These Hills
Author: Sandra Robbins
Publisher: Harvest House
Pages: 313
ISBN: 978-0-7369-4888-3
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013

It's 1935, and Laurel Jackson fears the life she's always known is about to become a memory. The government is purchasing property to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and nearly all the families in Cades Cove have decided to sell. Laurel is determined to save the land her family has lived on for a hundred years.

Andrew Brady, the son of a wealthy Virginia congressman, arrives in the Cove to convince the remaining landowners to sell. Sparks fly when he meets Laurel, the outspoken young woman who is determined to thwart his every effort. Will they ever be able to put aside their differences and accept what their hearts already know?

In the third and final book in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series, acclaimed author Sandra Robbins brings a dramatic conclusion to the story of the families of Cades Cove.
Sandra Robbins captures the life of farming in the Smoky Mountains in the 1930's in her writing perfectly. Even though the Depression is raging all around the rest of the country, the everyday life has thrived in Cades Cove. That is until the government decided it wants preserve these mountain ranges for the people of America. Making promises to the people who live there, saying they can keep their farms, that have been in their family for generations...but, the promises have proven to be false. The people of Cades Cove now face the unknown as the government decides that their land is better fitted to suit the needs of the rest of the country as a vacation spot.

Laurel is the third generation born in Cades Cove. It's the only home she has ever known. She is content and happy to live off of the land with her family. Her dad and grandpa have filed court cases against the government to keep their land. The family waits on the verdict and until they know, they live their lives like normal. Ever so slowly, families in the area sell their lands and move off. It hurts Laurel to see so many friends leave their lives behind. Trying to preserve the memories, Laurel snaps picture after picture, trying to preserve the past. Laurel hopes that the suits her grandpa and dad have filed will pull though and she won't have to leave.

Andrew Brady is fresh out of college. He was give his appointment from strings his father, a congressman, pulled for him. When Andrew arrives, he is a bit cocky, very sure of himself, that his task will only take a month, six weeks at the most. He's in for a rude awakening when he sees other wise. Andrew hasn't had a loving family relationship. His father is pushing him to the fast track of politics. The Cades Cove job is just a stepping stone in Andrew's fathers plan. As Andrew spends time in Cades Cove and gets to know Laurel and her family, Andrew's ideas of life start to change. He has long believed he hasn't had much of a choice in what he could do, or who he will become. His assignment opens his eyes to many things.

Beyond These Hills is a sweet story on growing up. Laurel and Andrew each face decisions that will change their future, for the best or the worst. They must each decide who or what they will rely on to help them through it, themselves, parents, or God.

Too Read
4 out of 5

About the Author:
Sandra Robbins and her husband live in the small college town in Tennessee where she grew up. They count their four children and five grandchildren as the greatest blessings in their lives. Her published books include stories in historical romance and romantic suspense. When not writing or spending time with her family, Sandra enjoys reading, collecting flow blue china, and playing the piano.

Thank you to Harvest House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion.

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