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What Momma Left Behind

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  321 ratings  ·  167 reviews
Worie Dressar is seventeen years old when influenza and dysentery ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1898, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie's mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  321 ratings  ·  167 reviews


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Kellyn Roth
Ugh, this book. I grabbed it on a whim, and honesty, it is so frustrating.

Just ... the writing. And the storyline went on and on and felt so pointless. And the characters weren't even that likable. I also found myself not liking the children! The cardinal sin for any author - I do so love children, and if they don't write them well, I'm instantly done.

But the writing. The writing was the main thing that killed me inside. Some people might find it charming or unique. It made me cringe with every
...more
Paula Shreckhise
Read this wonderful novel to find out WHAT MOMMA LEFT BEHIND. Her legacy was just what Worie Dressar needed in tough times in 1877 Appalachia.
Fiesty is not a strong enough word to describe Worie Dressar. She is blunt. She will not let anyone run roughshod over her. She has seen too much pain in her 17 years. When she knows something is right, she will move heaven and earth to rectify an injustice.
This book is written in a no-nonsense, culturally authentic way. But, oh, the lessons it teaches.
...more
Deanne Patterson
Make no mistake, life in the Appalachian mountains is not easy in 1877.
I loved seeing the dialect true to the time and place. You really can feel yourself immersed in the poverty-stricken Appalachia with the author's excellent descriptions .
As a mother of many I loved seeing the love and devotion Worie has for the needy and neglected children who have about given up hope.
Through the darkness a light shines and hope is found where only despair lived before.
Amazing book, first I've read by this au
...more
Jypsy
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Revell for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

What Momma Left Behind
By: Cindy K. Sproles

REVIEW ☆☆☆☆
What Momma Left Behind is an inspirational yet tragic story. The year is 1877, and in a region of Appalachia, tragedy has arrived in the form of a flu pandemic. Worie Dressar is a survivor who, at only 17, has just lost her mother. Beyond the scope of her grief, Worie is in a terrible situation that is far too much for a 17 year ol
...more
Staci
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
New to me author Cindy K Sproles brings an 1877 Appalachian Mountain community to life. The sights, sounds and emotions are incredibly vivid. While the area had been protected from disease in the past, industry had now brought the "fever" (influenza and typhoid).

Worie Dressar finds herself against multiple problems following the death of her mother. Her two brothers are no help in the day to day management of their family homestead. Worie is alone and angry, but heeds the words of her departed m
...more
Sarah
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so honored to have been asked to read an early copy of Cindy's latest story. As an Appalachian author it's a delight to read stories set in my neck of the woods!

As my grandmother would say, "Worie is full of beans!" I alternately loved her and wanted to sit her down and give her a good talking to. Of course, the story sees to softening some of her flaws while preserving the stubborn, willful streak that makes her who she is. She reminds me of some mountain ladies I've known . . .

The story i
...more
Debbie Maskus
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
During the current pandemic in the United States, the hardship of the Tennessee mountains during the 1870’s reminds readers that we still have a better life. Cindy K Sproles conveys a sense of the everyday hardship of the influenza epidemic and the unshaking belief in God. Worri Dressar loses her mother, her home, and security during the outbreak of influenza in the mountains. She inherits four homeless orphans and two troublesome brothers. At 17-years-old, Worri must care for this motley crew o ...more
Karren  Sandercock
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley, Revell Publishing and Cindy K. Sproles for my copy of What Momma Left Behind.
In 1898, Worie Dressar is only seventeen when she discovers her mother Louise has passed away and she has no idea why? To make matters worse an influenza and dysentery outbreak occurs in the small Tennessee mountain community and more lives are lost in and leaving so many children orphaned and hungry. Worie has no time to grieve for her mother; she’s busy taking care of hungry, homeless children
...more
Raechel Lenore
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
This is a unique story! It takes place in the late 1800's, in the Appalachian Mountains, and it is written in what felt like a very authentic way. I was very impressed. The whole story moved along smoothly, and I really liked the main character, Worie. Right away we are taken with her plight. There was a lot of sorrow in her story, but the lessons she learned were heartfelt and true.And all the children...how precious. I also really like Justice - Worie's brother. He had his own trials and strug ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Lately, I have really enjoyed reading books that are based on actual events from the past but are fiction in nature.  What Momma Left Behind takes a peek into life in the Appalachian Mountains in the late 1800s when illnesses such as typhoid and influenza were wiping out the population,  Living in the mountains, many were isolated from doctors and towns and the ability to receive medical attention was low.  Those on the mountain did what they could for each other and this story beautifully addre ...more
Faye
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A powerful story set in the rugged, yet beautiful mountains of Appalachia.



Seventeen year old Worie Dressar is left to contend with the realities of her mother's death and the secrets that her passing uncovers. Worie is a spunky, headstrong, and mule-stubborn heroine, with a fierce love for her family. I really liked how we see that she is a young woman who has grown up quickly, yet she doesn't have it all figured out and there are moments when her youth shows and she is more vulnerable.



The sto
...more
Kristina
What Momma Left Behind is Cindy K. Sproles’s debut novel. The author takes readers to the Appalachian Mountains in the late 1870s. Worie Dressar loses her mother, her home and security in a short span of time. Influenza and typhoid are afflicting the residents of the mountain leaving numerous people dead. Worie had dreams of becoming a teacher, but there was no way she could leave her mother alone to care for the farm. Her brother, Justice took to drink after their father passed. Her other broth ...more
Susan Snodgrass
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'Life ain't easy in these mountains. When the messes happen, you swallow the ache and do what has to be done.'

When you close the last page of a book weeping, you know you have been blessed and moved greatly.
This is what happened as I finished reading 'What Momma Left Behind.'

Worie Dressar is 17 in 1877 when typhoid and fever is spreading like wild fire through the Appalachian mountains where she lives. Many children are left orphaned on Sourwood Mountain and Worie's momma has been feeding them.
...more
Kelly-Ann ~ Sassy Bookish Mama
This was my first book by Cindy K. Sproles and I think that her knowledge of the Appalachian Mountain and its people shines through and her faith as well.

This was a hard read for me especially since this is not the type of book I would normally gravitate to. It is a very emotional book and it has emotional triggers to suicide which I found hard because its right at the start of the story and honestly it was a bit unexpected the way it was introduced. It was also very difficult for me to get int
...more
Rebecca
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
"Mountain women shovel their feelins over the shoulder and go on. It's what they do. It was what I would do. I kept tellin myself this . . . . . "

Worie Dressar's young shoulders are bearing a heavy load. So many on the mountain have died from the fever, and now her mother . . . . is dead the result of a different sort of tragedy. She leaves Worie with a legacy that the seventeen year old never knew existed . . . feeding the children.

But life is never simple, deep in the mountains of Te
...more
Kirby
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I have to be honest and state that this one took me a little while to get into. I found the plot dragged quite a bit for the first part, which was kind of surprising since it is such a short novel. A lot of times the story failed to hold my attention, and that ended up being slightly disappointing as it did have a lot going for it.

I haven't personally read too many novels that are set in the Appalachian mountains, and I highly enjoyed that the author made them the setting of this story. While I
...more
Lori
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read by Cindy Sproles who wrote so well that I thought I was in the novel with Worie Dressar.
Worie impressed me so much! She’s one strong and determined young lady who does what needs to be done in order to survive in 1877 Appalachia’s.
Along the way she learns some valuable life lessons like forgiveness and love as she helps the needy children who lost their loved ones.
The language of the mountain people is beautiful. Sort of reminds me of Kentucky.
The one person that I didn’t
...more
Ebos Aifuobhokhan
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Women like Worie are woman history are written about. Strong, bold, independent, resourceful! She was just 17 years old, barely a woman but she blazed a trail helping young orphans.

My heart went out for Worie! I could only imagine the pain and loss she was feeling after her momma's passing and so many secrets that were revealed. But i loved the lagacy her momma left behind for her of caring for orphans. Even though it was hard I admired her for rising up to the challenge. I loved her determinati
...more
Shantelle
Cindy K. Sproles certainly knows how to write an unexpected adventure. I'd only read one other book of hers before What Momma Left Behind, but I wasn't worried about this book boring me. Cindy's writing style is so unique and different, it's bound to capture you in one way or another.

I was transported back to 1877, in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Worie Dressar is a tough, seventeen-year-old, mountain girl. She's used to the hardship of her people's way of life, but with influenza and
...more
Kailey
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Once I got used to the fact that this book was written in the dialect of the place and time, I was able to enjoy the book more. The character of Worie was sometimes hard to care for, but she wasn’t that bad. This really was a good book. It takes a special type of person to open their heart and home to orphans. I think this book had a good message for all of us today. I was really impressed by the ending because it wasn’t your typical and predictable ending.
Cindy K. Sproles is a new to me author
...more
Nancy Luebke
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I sort of enjoyed this story of way of life in the mountains and the hard times of living there. People were dying everywhere from a fever, sort of like now only there was no one to save the children after the parents died. Not a real fan of books like this written in the uneducated slang of the people there. But I understood it enough to understand the story. It was interesting, and the tale made vague pictures of the hard life. Made me more grateful of modern things like bathrooms even if we h ...more
Kriste
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Liked the emphasis on caring for and loving orphans, but I didn't actually like the story or many of the characters... ...more
Asheley
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is a lot of heartbreak and difficulty in this story, but ultimately it is about trust, hope, and family. 17-year-old Worie Dressar loses her mother at the beginning of the story (not a spoiler) and works hard to continue her mother's legacy of feeding and caring for children who have been orphaned by the typhoid and influenza that is spreading throughout the mountain.

I like Worie a lot. She's tough as nails but she's also flawed. The author allowed her good space to work through her grief
...more
Sarah
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review, revell
For Such is the Kingdom “I’d missed my chance to be a wife and a mother so I could help her. That was water under the bridge, as Momma would say. But I was no quitter. Never had been. At seventeen, I’d manage just fine.” Appalachia has always spoken to my heart and soul. I live in northern Appalachia, although when I think of the region my mind conjures up visions of the mountains, influenced by two of my favorite books growing up: “When I Was Young in the Mountains” by Cynthia Rylant and of cou ...more
Nora St Laurent
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The year is 1877 – Sourwood Mountain, Tennessee, 17-year-old Worie’s heart aches, “The spring breeze whipped my hair around my face, brushin the clay trail of tears from my cheek. …”Just the day before Momma was hangin clothes on the line and signin. She didn’t seem to have a care in the world. Today she was dead.”

Worie becomes an unlikely hero while grieving the loss of her mother. She tries to make sense of it all, find her purpose in life, seek answers to her nagging questions, and find out w
...more
Phyllis
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A profound picture of grace and trust

My rating is 4.5 stars

I was a little in awe of the way the author maintained the voice of Worie in her speech and her thoughts throughout the story! Narrated in the first person, the entire story was told with an Appalachian accent. I have not often seen this done – it certainly worked here. Though I was dyin’ to add ‘g’s to words as I began to read, as I continued, the cadence and the music of the language began to feel natural and appropriate.

Worie was fasc
...more
Michaela Bush
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been thinking about it for almost a week since I finished reading my copy.  I've decided to give it a 4 star review -- maybe a 3.7 if we're talking fractions.  The story has some really solid themes about forgiveness, bravery, and family that I really enjoyed and support wholeheartedly.  I had a lot of fun reading it, and the first person point of view was surprising for historical fiction; not to mention that it's written in supposed Appalachian slang, which took a bit to get used to but b ...more
Helen
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles is a very emotional book with hard subjects and stong messages. Worie is just 17 years old when her mother takes her own life. Her two brothers had left her and her mother to fend for themselves after their father died. As she is struggling with grief and living alone, young children come looking for her mother. Her mother has taken it upon herself to feed the orphans in the area. Worie takes the little ones in until the day her brother comes insisting ...more
Yannick Tricia
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is an historical story taking place in the Appalachian mountains in 1898.
Worry Dressar has just lost her mother, she killed herself. Worry has two older brothers Calvin and Justice.
Calvin is a selfish man always trying to get in trouble with others and Justice struggles with alcoholism.
After the death of her mother, Worry decide to continue her work she used to do helping children and famillies
who were devastated by the fever. But she will have to fight against Calvin and his schemes to separ
...more
Nancee
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I loved the premise for this book. Worri Dressar takes over where her mother leaves off, sheltering and caring for orphans in the Appalachian Mountains. Poverty and sickness were a way of life, and numerous children became victims of the "fever" that killed their parents and siblings. Compassion and a beautiful loving spirit are traits that Worri wore on her sleeve. She was known to be "her mother's daughter," following the path that her mother paved by way of caring for the less fortunate. The ...more
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