The award-winning author of Fallen Angels, Nazareth's Song, and Whisper Town delivers the final novel in the acclaimed Millwood Hollow Series of role reversals, strange bedfellows, and ultimate redemption. Jeb Nubey and Fern Coulter are finally setting a wedding date, but their plans are derailed when a trip to Oklahoma to visit Fern's family catapults them into Fern's past 'the past she would prefer remained buried. Additionally, the challenges and perks that come with the wealthy community church Jeb is called to lead give him food for growth; however, this new found enlightenment appears arrogant in light of Fern's insecurities. In the midst of their struggles, Jeb and Fern must also deal with the disappearance of Angele 'Jeb' s adopted daughter. He must retrieve her from the dangerous young man who has played on her vulnerabilities and lured her away promising to fill the emptiness she feels. Earthly Vows takes a look at how easily those we think we know so well can fall into behaviors and make decisions we would never expect. Through this, Hickman shows how broken circles can be redeemed and how we can find beauty in life's flaws.
Hickman's final installment in the Millwood Hollow quartet delivers what fans have come to expect a satisfying and well-told tale of family and survival during the Great Depression while delving a bit deeper into the murkier places in the human heart. Rev. Jeb Nubey is engaged to the hard-won Fern Coulter, but in her distance and his blame-filled lack of understanding, Hickman shows readers just how much individuals can hurt one another even when they are in love. Jeb's foster daughter, Angel, also has an awakening of sorts when she finds that the long-awaited reunion with her biological family isn't all sweetness and light. Hickman skillfully weaves a dust bowl drought into the story, making its heat and apparently never-ending dryness an apt metaphor for her characters' spiritual and emotional isolation. She hits a strong note with the 1930s historical setting, which is well-researched and authentic but not obtrusive. Fans will enjoy and be subtly challenged by this conclusion to the series, though newcomers should be warned to start with the first novel (Fallen Angels) lest they be overwhelmed by the dizzying cast of characters.