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My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream

(My Heart Belongs)

4.77  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tend ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by Barbour Books
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Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley


Like, seriously.

After reading this book, a piece of my heart is definitely in Maple Springs, back in time, deep in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham was immediately engaging. Her love for the Appalachian people and their history is present through her vivid storytelling.

The lead characters each had their own remarkably strong voice. I could hear them in my head as I read their words and their thoughts. I l
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
A culture shock awaits Jonathan Taylor as he enters the rustic small town set in the Appalachian Mountains. He has come seeking redemption from an overbearing father, not being "fit" to serve in WWI and the squashed dreams of becoming a Doctor. He needs to feel as if he is making a difference, somewhere.

Life turns out to be different than he expected. Instead of finding a society of "backward" people, he realizes that joy doesn't come from possessions, but how you live your life. The best exampl
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Blue Ridge Mountains seems to be far removed from from World War 1 when new school teacher Jonathan Taylor arrives from England to face the culture shock of living among the mountain people. Jonathan was a praying man. One of his first prays after his arrival was, “Dear Lord, please give me the strength to help make a difference.”

Laurel McAdams was certainly an unexpected ally. They shared a comradery that started with brothers serving in the war and a love of eduction. Laurel was lacking in
Courtney Clark
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though mountain life might seem simple on the surface, it is anything but that for Laurel, her family, and her neighbors. While she dreams of an education and better opportunity for her own generation and beloved siblings, she grapples with a people and a culture dear to her yet challenging and wary of anything new.

Jonathan is the embodiment of such a challenge to her life. Through an unlikely friendship, he and Laurel learn just how similar their ambitions for betterment and common goals can he
I absolutely loved this book. Basham brings every aspect of the Blue Ridge mountain people to life from their speech, to their many mountain wisdom gems ( I highlighted quite a few), to the taste, smell, and feel of the mountains themselves. By the time I finished I wanted to immediately book a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Basham's prose read like poetry and drew me into every page of the story. Laurel, the beautiful, young mountain woman who aspired to go to college to become a teacher, so
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"Yep, kissing thoughts could give a coon dog competition for perseverance."

Kissing was about the last thing Laurel McAdams had on her mind at the moment. Getting the new lowlander teacher far, far, away from the lion's claws, mountain lion that is, immediately took precedence, even if the man was easy on the eyes. What in "tarnation" would bring a man like Jonathan Taylor to her Appalachian mountains?

"He didn't know why he was running, or from what . . . . . but he ran as if his very l
Dana Michael
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! This book was sweet, inspiring and romantic! Wonderful characters and story. I just wish this was a series!
*I was given a copy by the publisher. I was not under any obligation to leave a review. This is my honest opinion.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Somehow Pepper Bashum continues to raise the bar with this lovely story of a British teacher who travels to a remote mountain community of North Carolina hoping to make a difference. Bashum shares her love for the Appalachian people as she describes their strengths and weaknesses. The eclectic cast of mountain folk is as colorful as the autumn color in the mountains described so eloquently through Bashum's beautiful prose. The laugh-out-loud humor Bashum fans have come to expect are interlaced w ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved the "My Heart Belongs in..." series and this was another favorite! Pepper Basham has uniquely captured the mountain people in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia and showcased their faith, generosity, pride, and their caution of outsiders.
Jonathan is educated gentleman from England who has signed on to work at his uncle's mission church as a teacher. His arrival in the mountains nearly turns him around to hop on the next train out of there but he made a commitment to his u
Karen R
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story full of life and love! A glimpse into the Appalachian culture of a small community at the end of WW1, with a conflict all its own. When a young man from England comes to teach school at the mission led by his uncle, ill feelings are stirred up among the stern mountain men and the 'flatlander' who wants to improve their lives, and open their eyes to the outside world.

“Dream, girl, but trust God to take better care of your dreams than you ever could.”

This book started out well, a
Susan Snodgrass
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'I can't hardly get one dream to come true. It'd seem greedy to hope for two.'

This book just filled my heart all the way up till the goodness overflowed. Pepper Basham has just outdone herself here.

Jonathan Taylor has come from England to teach in a one room school in 1918 Appalachia. Boy, is he unprepared for what he finds. He longs to be of some use to these children, but long held family belief systems and superstition nearly break his heart. He can't go back home because his stern father do
Lucette Nel
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everything about this book captivated me! My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is a beautiful historical romance about the Appalachian life and Ms. Basham did a wonderful job transporting the reader to the everyday life of the heroine. Thank you Barbour Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. My opinion is voluntarily and I was not expected to post a positive one.
The author did a great job of bringing the essence of the Blue Ridge mountains, and specifically the mountain people's way of life and wariness towards strangers (flatlanders) to life in this beautifully sweet story about friendship and breaking barriers to love and help those around you.

The author successfully drew me into this story with interesting adventures the London bred Jonathan had to face in this "rough mountains" where he wanted to teach and help the mountain people. The differences b
Cathy Cermele
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Okay get ready to gasp, but this is the first book that I’ve read by Pepper Basham! I know that I’m late to the party but at long last, I made it.

Laurel McAdams is a character that I loved from the beginning and quickly decided that I wanted her to have the best life she possibly could. Given her circumstances I knew that it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do. Laurel has so much to overcome including a less than ideal family life since her father struggles with alcoholism.

Jonathan Tyler is the new
Tricia Mingerink
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have become slightly obsessed with books set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I visited that part of North Carolina this summer, and I think I fell a little bit in love with the mountains and the mountain culture.

This is the first book I've read by this author, and I don't think it will be my last. This book was really well written and compelling. The characters were well developed and the setting was magnificently described. I could taste the mountain air and feel the breeze and was transported
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is a clean historical romance. Laurel wants to be a teacher, but her living circumstances are not the best. Jonathan takes a teaching job, though he wants to be a doctor. He learns from Laurel and the townspeople that happiness is not found in the things you own. He learns the value of family and love and joy. Laurel always tries to make the best of any situation and she stays positive. It's a charming story in a beautiful setting. Thanks to NetGalley for an ar ...more
Patti Whitson Stephenson
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be aware before you read this review: I going to gush about this book.

I did not want this book to end. The ending was perfect, but I knew when I finished the last page I would have to leave the story of these wonderful characters. From the very first page, I knew that I was going to love Laurel, the mountain girl with a compassionate heart and the longing to go to college to become a teacher. Jonathan, who comes to the mountains from England to be a teacher but wants to be a doctor, is also an i
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge Laurel's Dream by Pepper Basham
Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian l
Tabitha Bouldin
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
My heart just melted like butter on a hot biscuit. Never has a book captured Appalachian culture so well. I was hooked from the first page. Basham’s way of weaving words together makes me want to capture the words and put them all in a glass jar so I can shake them every now and then like a jar of lightning bugs and watch them light up again.
Laurel is so sweet and endearing. That sweetness covers a backbone of steel and dreams of helping her community. When Jonathan arrives, Laurel is his first
Becca-Rae Weidel
This was my first time reading a book by Pepper Basham and I was certainly not disappointed! It's not quite a novella, but it's certainly a shorter novel (I read the e-book but according to Goodreads the print is 256 pages), and I happened to read entire book in one evening.

I've only read a few stories that involve "mountain people," but it's quite interesting that almost all of them paint the same type of picture of them. They are a people of pride and while they may not have much, they work ha
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All thoughts below are my own.

This sweet novel opens the door to life in the heart of Appalachia during the early twentieth century. With endearing characters and a storyline so heartwarming, it’s a must-love story from start to finish!

With a tender love story reminiscent of Catherine Marshall’s Christy, Pepper Basham shares a delightful tale of a young, British man who comes to the he

This was my first experience with this author, and while I could tell that the author truly loved the area she was writing about, I found her book rather dry when it came to the actual story. The setting was amazingly described, saving me
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved this book!

Author Pepper Basham’s newest release My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is well written with well developed characters. The descriptions of the mountain, its people and their homes are described so well I can still see them in my minds eye.

Laurel McAdams grew up in these mountains; she loves the people and the mountain in all its seasonal splendor. When a handsome stranger comes to the mountain as the new school teacher, Laurel befriends him striving to pave the way for
Sadie VanderKodde
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pepper! You've done it again! Captured me with eloquent writing, profound spiritual themes, and heart-stopping character development. But you left me with questions! I know you just finished this one, and it hasn't even been officially released (thanks, NetGalley for the sneak peek!), but I sure hope you're busy on the sequel! I need more!

Laurel and her family were flawed but likeable. Appalachia in the early 1900s isn't a setting I'm overly familiar with, but Basham paints a scene that is both
Emily P
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this sweet romance set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Laurel is a small town daughter of a farmer who dreams of more than mountain life. She finds an unlikely friend in the new teacher, Jonathan, who has moved to North Carolina from his native England.

Pepper Basham has done her research and effectively captures the spirit of the mountain foothills and its people. There are difficult topics such as prejudice, racism and alcoholism woven into the characters' lives, which
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
MY HEART BELONGS IN THE BLUE RIDGE, LAUREL’S DREAM, by Pepper Bashram, is set in 1918 in a remote area of the Appalachia Mountains of North Carolina.

Edward Anderson is a minister from England serving in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because the area he serves is in need of a school teacher, Rev. Anderson requests that his nephew Jonathan Taylor travel from England to North Carolina to be a teacher in the remote area’s two-room schoolhouse.

One of the first families that Jonathan meets is the McAdam
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pepper Basham has done it again! While I love her contemporary “kissing books”, I was captivated by this story set in the Blue Ridge mountains, rich with Appalachian culture and lore. From the quaint Appalachian speech to the lusciously painted setting, each page drew me into a world I’d never experienced, yet came to love.

This is one of the sweetest love stories I’ve read in a long time. Laurel is tenderhearted and kind while being amazingly strong in the face of difficult circumstances. Her wi
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have tears flowing as I’m trying to write this review. What a heartfelt, beautiful story. Ms. Basham has truly captured the heart of the people of Appalachia and penned it into a compelling story that captures time and place. The character of Laurel is a true heroine with a heart and dreams as big as the mountains she lives in. When Jonathan tells Laurel , “ I’ve never seen anything like them. Each morning, each afternoon they offer a different view.” He nodded as she looked up at him. “Yes, I ...more
Delsie Konoske
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge is an interesting historical novel by Pepper Basham.

I enjoyed reading Laurel’s Dream. It was captivating as you learned about the people of Maple Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Laurel’s dream was to save enough money to one day go to college in the outside world. Her goal was to become a teacher and then come home to teach. One day, a teacher from another world, England, came to teach. A friendship develops between Laurel and Jonathan,
Susan F
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly love this book. It is so filled with wonderful characters that have the rich quality of another favoured book for me, Catherine Marshall's, Christy. I am delighted with the pure and intelligent treasure of Laurel McAdams with her mountain girl uniqueness and humor. Her mother is also a gem in this story, so wise, so in tune with the reality and value of her world and it's people. Then there is the young teacher from England, Jonathan Taylor, who has great lessons to be learned in this my ...more
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Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction whe ...more

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