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The Angels of Morgan Hill

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,236 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
From Donna VanLiere--the author of the beloved Christmas Hope series--comes a moving novel of faith, family, and destiny.

You might think that what you're about to read has a great deal to do with my father and growing up poor in east Tennessee, but there is so much more--what captured my heart was the hope of belonging and the dream of family. The woman I am has a great de
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by St. Martin's Press
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(showing 1-30 of 2,080)
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This is the prequel to The Good Dream (great book, comprehensible as a stand-alone). Nice to see so much of Henry Walker and his wife Loretta, favorite characters in The Good Dream, but why didn't we see more of his sister, Sarah Ivorie Walker?

Compared to The Good Dream, there is slightly more romance woven into this plot, but nonetheless this is primarily a post-war historical about a few white families uniting to help an orphaned homeless black boy (little Milo). It's a heartwarming, heartbr
Glenda L
Nov 06, 2015 Glenda L rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book ... takes place during the summer of 1947. Jane Gable meets a sharecropper family by the name of Turner ... who by the way are the first black people to setting in Morgan Hill, Tennessee. Then an incident happens that upsets everyone's lives and Jane's family has to make a decision how to handle it ... they do with the help of the "angels" of Morgan Hill. This is a feel good book full of warmth, humor and family unity. VanLiere did a wonderful job writing this.
Dec 04, 2011 Natalie rated it it was ok
If you like southern writers, and stories of the Jim Crow era you might like this book about a little boy trying to fit into a poor, fatherless white family who's adopted him and the struggles the family deals with regarding poverty and racism.

There are heart-touching moments with the mother and Milo, the little boy, and with Fran and Joe, some lovely writing regarding Henry, quite possibly the biggest saint in Morgan Hill.

But there was also some editing that needed to be done prior to publicati
Marion Marchetto
Aug 19, 2011 Marion Marchetto rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because of the word Angels in the title, knowing nothing about the author or her other works. After the opening paragraph, however, I was hooked.

Set in Tennessee during the 1950s, Jane Gable (the 9-year old narrator) tells the story of the day her daddy was buried and how she and her younger brother saw their first black family. Through humorous anecdotes of life in the South, we learn of the contempt of some for the 'colored' sharecroppers and how far these folks would go
Jul 29, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sharon by: Christa
My daughter, Christa called and told me I could download this book on my nook. She had previouly suggested I purchase Donna VanLiere Christmas books for my library. They have always circulated well, so I quickly downloaded this novel. It did not disappoint!

Jane Gable thinks 1947 will be like every other year in Morgan Hill. However, her normal consists of an abusive, alcoholic father, a precocious brother (John) and a pregnant mother (Fran), who is resigned to their less than pleasant life. Jane
Nandi Crawford
I have read one other of Donna VanLiere's works, and though this is most definitely a fiction tale, I couldn't help but wonder how things would turn out for this young fella Milo. Best start in the beginning; It starts when Jane and her brother is burying their father (who died at age 29 from alcohol related diabetes) sadly none of the members are sad that he is gone since he was more trouble than he was worth; It also happens to be the same day that Milo and his family, the Turners come to town ...more
Aug 18, 2009 Shauna rated it liked it
A good story. As I predicted, I cried throughout the whole thing. I can't stop myself from crying for children put in such sad circumstances with good people who just can't catch a break.

It's hard to know what some people mean by a clean read. This story had a truly sweet romance element. But it also had despicable people in it, one of which made a despicable attempt. Not terribly graphic in details, but enough to get my heart pumping in concern for the female character. (Just a warning that yo
Mar 09, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I have seen this book so many times on Goodreads that I decided that I needed to read it. I laughed, I cried and I loved it. There are some very sad parts of the book, and I don't recommend it to readers under 14 because of the subject matter, unless they are very emotionally mature readers.

The characters are very real and it tells a story that could have very well happened. I didn't want to put it down once I started reading it. It's good to the very end - and there's a nice little surprise at
Ronda  Tutt
Nov 14, 2009 Ronda Tutt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
A very touching story that takes place in Tennessee back in 1947 - A nine year old's story of how her family (white) and another family (black) get through the madness and meanness surrounding them that try keep them from being friends and at last trying to be family when a tragedy occurs.

Donna VanLiere once again delivers a great story just like she did with her other book "The Christmas Shoes".
Jan 27, 2016 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys story about the segregated South.
Recommended to Dawn by: I've read other books by this author.
OMG! I loved this book! I really enjoyed all of VanLiere's Christmas themed books, but this book has moved up to the top of my list as my favorite by this author. Sometimes when I read a book that has moved me emotionally, I become confused that a book like this has gotten so little attention. A sweet and moving story like this would make a wonderful movie. This is also a book that would be a good recommendation for students to read. If you loved "The Help", "Mudbound" or "Calling Me Home", then ...more
May 10, 2010 Heidi rated it it was amazing
so glad I read this, and I am so happy that people are if not less judgemental a little less openly judgemental. It was hard to read parts of it because it hurt so much to read about how horribly people will treat others, but then It ended very nice and happy, maybe almost too well depending on the type of reader you are.

Great book, I really enjoyed it.
Delightedly, this is my second Donna VanLiere novel/novella. I'm growing quite fond of her simple, yet humanly perceptive, uplifting stories. This one in particular played upon my emotions and gave me pause. Quite the bittersweet, satisfying read - historically, culturally, and spiritually.

"I can't recall how long we stayed at the creek and listened to Henry's stories, but I remember the laughter and the deep feeling of happiness I had on that afternoon. Maybe that's our way of wanting to remem
May 23, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
This is a great book about race relations. It was a very heartwarming and sweet story where the goodness of humankind triumphs!
gurpreet kaur
Jul 24, 2015 gurpreet kaur rated it it was amazing
My first by Donna Vanliere, more shall definitely follow. I like her style, quite like some other writers from the Southern part of the US. It reminds one of 'To Kill a mocking bird' and 'The Help' and yet is distinctive and interesting in its own way. Touching .... moves one to tears many times. The righteousness and innocence of children, the struggle and triumph of goodness and humanity are heart warming indeed. One is hooked on to the book right from the beginning and then it stays and linge ...more
Oct 18, 2013 Buddybearr rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I have read most or all of Donna VanLiere's Christmas books.
This is not one of them.
Donna really dealt with the issue of racism back in the 40's and 50's
Donna has a wonderful way of making her story characters so real, three dimensional, flawed but hearts that can be filled with courage, caring, compassion and willing at all costs to stand up what they believe.
From the first page of the story, I was in love, in awe, connected to each character.
Small town, poor in things, but rich in the good
Susan Coster
Jul 23, 2014 Susan Coster rated it really liked it
This short little book moved me to tears at the end. Set in rural East Tennessee, 1947, Jane Gable's life is changed forever when a young black family moves to town. Tragically, they are lost in a suspicious fire, and only, six-year old Milo lives. Fran Gable then has to make a decision whether to keep her deathbed promise to Milo's mother or let him move in with a black family. Milo decides.

Read this book in (2) nights. Pick it up!
Katrina Burchett
Aug 03, 2008 Katrina Burchett rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
It's 1947 and the Turners (Willie Dean, his wife, Addy and their children, Milo and Rose) are the first black family to move to Morgan Hill. The Gables (Fran and her children, Jane and John) are kind, hard-working people who don't have much. Despite the disapproval of her friend, Margaret, Fran becomes friends with Addy Turner. Tragedy strikes and Fran makes a promise to Addy that she intends to keep no matter what Margaret and other narrow-minded, prejudiced people in town have to say about it. ...more
Crystal Barton
Jun 14, 2016 Crystal Barton rated it it was amazing
I loved this book even though it had some very sad moments! It was a wonderful read and makes you miss the good ole days. A wonderful story with a lot of loving people who work together to help on another through a lot of hard and sad times. I would recommend everyone read this book! One of the best I've read in a long time!
Sep 13, 2013 Julianne rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book! It was hard. But this is a wonderful book!

The setting is the small southern town of Morgan Hill, Tennessee. It’s 1947, “the year everything changes”. A black family moves in. Everyone in town has to decide how to deal with this fact.

The book ends with a funeral. I believe that was my favorite part.

Here’s a quote to remember. It was posted on the side of the cash register in Henry’s general store. “Character is found in how you treat people who can’t do anything for you.
Dec 27, 2009 Cheryl rated it really liked it
A very gripping story told through the eyes of a girl, starting in 1947 when she was nine years old. The day her abusive alcoholic father was buried she sees her first black person. Her world is full of strong wonderful characters, and neighbors who look out for each other.
This master story teller has hit the bulls eye, showing us that even in our darkest hours, we are never truly alone.
Jan 17, 2009 Judy-Sug rated it it was ok
This is a story that takes place in the late 40's about a family in a white southern town. A black family moves in but a fire wipes out all but one young boy. The Gable family takes him in. The story tells about the trials and tribulations of this family decision.
Dec 27, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I was expecting this to have more of a Christmas theme so that probably had some influence on my feelings towards it. I did not enjoy it as much as I have some of the authors other books. It touches on many difficult life challenges and situations. Told mostly through the eyes of a 9 year old girl it has a personal touch and perspective.

The topics are more solemn and heartbreaking though a credible portrayal of racial segregation and intolerance in a small-town in Tennessee during the time perio
Mar 02, 2016 Laurie rated it liked it
I listened to this audio trip in weekend, which makes it a shorter book than the ones I listened to on audio. It was an interesting story about racism and the evilness of men as well as the kindness of other men, from the fire and resulting deaths of a black family to one white woman's determination to keep her promise to raise the surviving son of the black mother. My one disappointment is that I thought the book was a bit short, in that some of the plot lines could've been further developed. T ...more
Mar 21, 2016 Peggy rated it really liked it
A beautifully written story of a family and small Tennessee townsfolk who embrace an orphaned black child after his family dies from a hate inspired tragedy.
Told from the perspective of nine year old, Jane Gable, the reader experiences not only incidents of racism, poverty, spousal abuse, sexual abuse and bullying, but also caring, love and generosity. Although, I found the plot to be somewhat predictable, I found the character development to be excellent.
This is a short (228 page), quick to
Tori Stuckey
Nov 24, 2014 Tori Stuckey rated it liked it
This was a quick read. I read Donna VanLiere's The Good Dream before I knew about this book (which is set a fews years before The Good Dream in the same town with many of the same cast of characters) so I knew how some of it would turn out, but I enjoyed it. It was pretty good. It's a hopeful story more than strictly realistic, in my opinion. I think that a white family taking a black boy into their home (in the 40's, in the rural South) is admirable and heartwarming, but I think they would have ...more
May 31, 2013 Sabine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read
1947 in Tennessee. Der Vater der kleinen 9jährigen Jane und des 5jährigen John stirbt, doch traurig sind sie nicht, hat er doch nur Gewalt und Sorge in die Familie gebracht. Gerade ist der Vater unter der Erde, zieht die Familie Turner in das kleine Städtchen, das wäre nichts besonderes, wäre deren Hautfarbe nicht schwarz. Schon dies ist für viele ein Problem, doch dann passiert ein schreckliches Unglück…
Die Geschichte wird aus Sicht der kleinen Jane erzählt und ihre unverbrauchten Gedanken sind
Dec 07, 2012 Rayni rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: post WWII era
Recommended to Rayni by: author recognition
I hope I would be as brave as Fran. There truly were angels in Morgan Hill, Tenn. This book is very thought provoking.

Reread from 12/6-12/7/12: This time around I listened to it on my mother's cassette tape recorder. I told her when she got the tapes from Talking Books, it was a really good book, but it was iffy. I didn't think she'd get all the way through it. I could think of several incidents where she would likely turn the book off & tell me she didn't like it. Instead, we listened to it
Sarah Sammis
Jun 26, 2009 Sarah Sammis rated it liked it
The Angels of Morgan Hill is set in Morgan Hills, Tennessee in 1947. It's an all white town until the Turners move in to help with the tobacco crop. The only family to befriend the Turners is the Gables. Jane's mother is recently widowed and is seeking kinship after years of an abusive marriage. The friendship doesn't last long as the bigots of the town welcome them by burning down their home and killing everyone except for young Milo.

Jane Gable, the nine year old narrator tells the story of how
Feb 07, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Walmart
It's 1947. Nine-year-old Jane Gable first lays eyes on Milo Turner the day her alcoholic and abusive father is laid to rest. The Turner family is the first black family to live in Morgan Hill and Jane can't understand why people are so bitter. For Jane and her brother John, Milo is just a new friend and playmate.

Then tragedy strikes the Turner family and the Gables are asked to make a decision that could rip their family apart. One path may open up a whole new world for them and bring them close
May 08, 2016 Divya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
I bought it in a book fair, reading the angel word in the title. Being a fantasy freak I instantly bought it. And I must say, it really didn't disappointed me. I loved this book. Everything was perfectly enlightened.
A boy negro boy trying to fit in a village of whites. How he cope with the racism. How his family was burnt in ashes because of racism and the pov of a little girl, Rose.
It us complete package for whom who love to read with a tint of spirituality.
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Donna VanLiere is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and gifted conference speaker. She has published ten titles including The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing, both of which were adapted into movies (starring Rob Lowe, Kimberly Williams-Perry and Neil Patrick Harris) and garnered big ratings for CBS television. LifetimeTelevision adapted The Christmas Hope (starring Made ...more
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