ORCHARD OF HOPE
Gabhart creates likable and intelligent characters, but they just seem to drift along in the story, which lacks a strong plot and growth for its two main characters, Jocie and David.
Noah Hearndon seems to have a chip on his shoulder. He assumes that 14-year-old Jocie has predetermined ideas about black people. Jocie's father, David Brooke, is the editor of the local newspaper and the pastor of a church. He offers Noah a part-time job and welcomes his family to Sunday services. Will his willingness to accept everyone, as God does, split the church, or will the people of Hollyhill begin to live what they believe? (Revell, Mar., 448 pp., $12.99)