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The Right Kind of Fool

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he'd obeyed his mother. The ripples caused by his discovery will impact the town of Beverly, West Virginia, in ways no one could have imagined.

The first person those ripples disturb is Loyal's absent
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 3rd 2020 by Bethany House Publishers
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Anna Yes, I think it is. There is a murder in the book but nothing graphic. It centers around Loyal who is 13 years old and deaf, and his relationship with…moreYes, I think it is. There is a murder in the book but nothing graphic. It centers around Loyal who is 13 years old and deaf, and his relationship with his family, particularly his father. It’s a great book.(less)

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Average rating 4.37  · 
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Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
The day I give one of my own books less than five stars is the day I quit writing! While my stories are never quite as perfect as I want them, I'm always in love with the characters and what they have to share. And while this story is really about a 13-year-old boy who's deaf and how he demonstrates courage, resilience, and love in the midst of a murder investigation . . . my favorite part is Creed and Delphy. I've never felt as though I'm all that good at writing romance--until I wrote about th ...more
Rachel McMillan
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A gorgeous tapestry of words and a cadence recalling Delia Owens,Chris Fabry and Charles Martin inform this character driven piece set in 1930s Appalachia. When a deaf teenager finds a dead body he is unexpectedly reunited with the father who abandoned him and his mother long ago. And as family is reforged so are secrets of a small community exhumed.

More than just a mystery, though the shooting ( inspired by a historic one ) definitely has many tenets to untangle, this is a book of quiet wisdom
Paula Shreckhise
“Maybe he didn’t have to be normal. Maybe all he needed to be was the person God made him.”
Loyal is deaf and struggles to fit in with the hearing world. He longs to make his father proud; but his father, Creed, is absent much of the time. Creed feels guilt about the fever that took his son’s ability to hear.
In 1934 West Virginia, this story follows the Raines family as they try to capture what is normal after a man is found shot in the nearby woods.
This was a very easy to read story that pulle
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think I'll start this review with a quote because it reminded me of what my mom uses to say to me all the time I was growing up. And you know what? She was right in more ways than one.
"God doesn't let us get away with anything. He just leaves us to make our own beds and lay in them, whether we like it or not."
In other words God is letting us make our own choices whether bad or good.
I think this saying goes perfect for this story in West Virginia 1934.
Thomas writes this so very well that she ma
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A poignant tale of family, growing up, friendship, and forgiveness.

The summer of 1934, 13 year old Loyal Raines discovers a dead body, disrupting his small town community as accusations fly and tensions rise.

Loyal is a 13 year old boy kept on the outside looking in, deaf from a young age, he can see things that others can't hear. I loved how he grows in confidences and courage under the guidance of a father, and opening his silent world to others by teaching them sign. He is clever and intuitiv
Jolene -
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Right Kind of Fool is the first book I have read by Sarah Loudin Thomas. I am so glad that I gave this story a chance. I fell in love with Loyal, Creed, and Delphy right at the beginning. Not only were the characters highly interesting, but their unique family situation and town culture drew my attention. Add in a murder and my interest was hooked. Even though it took me nearly a week to read through the book, I never lost interest or forgot where I was in the story. Every evening, it felt l ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This one just worms its way into your heart and stays there. I would have finished it in one setting if I hadn’t just had cataract surgery and had inflammation that kept me from reading much at one time. I’m kind of glad as it gave me a chance to savor the beautiful story and ponder on it. I loved the second chance that Delphy and Creed have at putting their marriage back together and how it is woven seamlessly into the main story of Loyal their deaf son who finds himself stretching and growing ...more
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I get so consumed with Thomas' books. She is one of the few writers that just has a way with words, that pull you in and you get so lost in the book.
This book was set in West Virginia which made it even better. The Characters were some of the best I have read in a while.
I highly recommend this 5 star read and I hope that you grab an extra copy for your best friends stocking.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views express
Maureen Timerman
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I loved this story, a mama bear with her claws out, no a human mother that wants to wrap her thirteen year old son in a tight cocoon, and why? Well, Loyal is deaf, he seems to be brilliant, but because he can't hear his mother protects him constantly. I can see why she is feeling that way, but this boy is now stumbling on manhood, and the first time he spreads his wings, he ends up finding a body.
You will love Loyal's Dad Creed, and see the blooming relationship between father and son, and why n
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I was in my 20s I decided to take some sign language classes to see if I even liked them. Oh my word, I LOVED them. Honestly, I had wanted to become an interpreter, but life got in the way. Anyhow, that is really what piqued my interest with The Right Kind of Fool. How does an author pull off a deaf character?

Oh my goodness, Sarah Loudin Thomas pulled it off beautifully! I was incredibly impressed by how she incorporated explanations of the signs (yes, I caught myself doing them as I read).
Susan Snodgrass
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
'In many ways, God doesn't let us get away with anything. He just leaves us to make our own beds and then lets us lay in 'em.....whether we like it or not.'

Sarah Loudin Thomas's books are so full that they just won't turn you loose until the book is finished. Her first did that to me and they continue to have that affect.

Set in 1934 West Virginia, thirteen year old Loyal Raines, who is deaf, slips away to swim in the river on a hot day even though he's been told to stay home. Then he finds a dea
Connie Saunders
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Author Sarah Loudin Thomas kept me totally immersed in this moving look at a family's efforts to do what is best for their hearing-impaired son in 1934 West Virginia. Loyal's mother and father have totally different views about their son and Creed Raines chooses to live alone in the mountains while Delphy and Loyal remain in their Beverly, West Virginia home. A murder in this small town changes all of this and Creed finally realizes that his perceptions of his thirteen-year-old son and his choic ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a sweet read with mystery, drama and a young man's story of coming of age.

Loyal Raines is a young teen who is supposed to stay close to home while his mother is at a meeting. Instead he decides to visit a nearby swimming hole on a hot day--and finds more than a cool dip in the stream. He finds a dead body. This not only shakes him up, but it shakes up his dysfunctional family life more than the fact that he is deaf.

The Right Kind of Fool is a hist
Danielle Urban
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas is a beautiful woven story. It features a family torn and separated. A father who made mistakes and is thinking about reconnecting but not knowing how. He misses his wife and child. A wife who misses her husband. No one knows he spends more time on the mountain than with her or their son. A son who is deaf trying to prove to be just as normal as the rest of the kids his age. All three of them are brought together when the son runs across a dead man. ...more
Abigail Harris
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest, I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this... A powerful novel that sneaked it's way into my heart chapter by chapter.

The Right Kind of Fool is not your everyday murder mystery, no, it is so much better.

The father who didn't know his son, the mother trying to protect her son, and the boy who could no longer hear, each point of view was written in such a way that you will be pulled into a story of learning, reconciliation, hope, and a family's love.

I am so glad I picked up a
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
This is the surprise read of the year for me! From the moment I met 13-year-old Loyal Raines, I was swept into this charming story. It contains family drama, danger, several sweet relationships, and a very intriguing murder mystery.

My absolute favorite aspect of this book is the burgeoning relationship between Loyal and his father Creed. It was so sweet watching them learning to communicate with each other. I also loved the mystery that runs through the story and how it resolved. Overall, this i
Nora St Laurent
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This author brilliantly takes readers inside this fourteen-year-old boy’s deaf, mute world as Loyal tries to communicate with the hearing, who think that talking slower and louder will help him understand what they are saying. I felt for him as he is frantic for someone to realize the urgency of the situation.

Parents of special needs children often become estranged and play the blame game. Such is the case with Loyal’s parents Delphy and Creed. Creed used to be sheriff of this small town in Virg
Katie Powner
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved the setting of this story and the unique characters. So many interesting people to meet! This is not your typical Christian fiction. I'm a big fan of this author. ...more
Oh man, this book! This book! Right from the get-go it totally tugged at my heartstrings. I'm totally a character-driven reader, so if you don't give me good characters, you've lost me. Well, with this book, there are so many characters to absolutely fall in love with. There's 13-year-old Loyal, who is bright and loving and wants to fit in despite being deaf--and who also wants to both make his parents proud and do whatever he can to help them. There's Creed, Loyal's father, who blames himself f ...more
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
"Any fool can play a trick. Courage is holding your head high when they do."

Loyal Raines has survived his share of tricks, along with whispers behind his back, over-long stares, and even cruel indifference. A childhood fever took his hearing, but in no way did it affect his ability to communicate if a person truly wanted to hear him out. For years Creed Raines' guilt over his son's disability had driven a wedge right down the middle of Loyal's family, but on a hot summer day Creed was t
Libby May
Hello Treasures! Today I'm reviewing The Right Kind of Fool. This is a story about a young deaf boy and his dad! Let's jump right in. I had a couple of opinions on this story. XD

Mixed feelings on the characters. I really appreciated Creed and his character development. I appreciated him. I loved his mistakes and his working to fix them. His personality was intriguing. So I liked reading about him.
Delphy, however, was my least favorite in the whole book. She was an entitled needy w
Lydia Howe
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Between when I read the back-cover blurb of this book and when I received it I completely forgot what it was about - other than the fact that it took place in West Virginia relatively close to where I grew up in Ohio. Going into a book blind is one of my favorite things, and I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

The story is in third person and follows the perspectives of all three of the family members (parents and teenage son). The son - Loyal - is the main char
V. Palmer
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas will startle readers with the quiet intensity of its profound message of hope!

The Right Kind of Fool is an adventure from start to finish! The story follows the three different members of the Raines family. What is possibly the most surprising and the most true to life quality of the story is that it contains a little of everything -- a coming-of-age story in Loyal, a second chance romance in Creed and Delphy's reconciliation, a murder mystery, a sti
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Creed’s son is only four years old, he takes him on a hunting trip that ends with the boy becoming dangerously ill and losing his hearing as a result. Blaming himself, he retreats up the mountain and away from not only his family but from society as well. But when his now thirteen-year-old son, Loyal, discovers a body, Creed instinctively jumps into action not only to protect his son, but to help find the murderer.
The summary on the back of the book makes it sound like the story revolves a
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that I request when authors ask what one wants to see more of in available Christian fiction-a book where the main character isn’t perfect. The boy is deaf...this means more to me now as I’m learning sign language. I’m learning it because I rarely have a voice. The main characters family isn’t perfect either, yet they work through grief and grow.

It’s wonderful to be able to communicate with other humans...and it is incredibly hard when we struggle to do that. I never rea
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impossible to define and indescribably good. Stunning, really. A plot with so many nuances you'll want to lose yourself in the story and breathe it all in.

There's a mystery -- a murder that needs solving and while that aspect of this novel is fascinating, the real attraction for me was the burgeoning relationship between estranged father and son. Creed has been a largely absentee dad since Loyal became deaf. The journey into his psyche was both fascinating and heartrending. And Loyal, on the cus
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Right Kind of Fool, by Sarah Loudin Thomas, is a great story of a thirteen year old boy, Loyal. He lost his hearing and speech after getting sick as a young boy. Shortly after, his father moved to the mountain near the family home, visiting only for short times. Loyal was at the river when he ran across a dead man. He ran to his father for help. HIs father, being a former law enforcement worker, takes charge of reporting the incident while keeping his son out of the investigation.

I thoroughl
Whitney Hofstetter
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So beautiful! I know this book touched me deeply since I studied ASL in college but the emotional growth and struggles of the characters will resonate with everyone.
Gloria Moseley
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The Right Kind of Fool," by Sarah Loudin Thomas, centers on a murder investigation in a small West Virginia town during the Great Depression. The main character is a young deaf boy named Loyal Raines, who found the body while swimming in the river without his mother's permission. His father, Creed Raines, has lived in the mountains throughout most of Loyal's life. Creed and Delphy (Loyal's mother) must put past hurts aside if they are to rekindle the love that once was, and become a true family ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5-star read

Small-town life in West Virginia has always been difficult if you're different. Loyal Raines has a tendency to stick out in people's minds because he's deaf, uses sign language, and his father - Creed left the family and headed for the hills. Even though Loyal doesn't have a relationship with his father, all he really wants is to prove to his father that he is worthy of his love and attention. When Loyal comes upon a dead body, he doesn't go home to his mother, he climbs the mountai
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I’m a Christian, wife, fundraiser and writer living near Asheville, NC. I grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV. I used to say “rural WV,” but realized that’s largely redundant. I LOVE my home state and the fact that I’m the seventh generation to grow up on the family farm. My love of the Appalachian Mountains informs my writing. I want you to be as wild about these hazy, blue mountains a ...more

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“In my experience, God doesn't let us get away with anything. He just leaves us to make our own beds and then lets us lay in 'em...whether we like it or not.” 1 likes
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