Sabal Palms & the Southern Squall
Emerald House Group (2022)
Reviewed by Chelsy Scherba for Reader Views (07/2022)
“Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall” is the first book in the Sabal Palms Series by Terry Overton. Elaine Smith is a widow who lives in a beautiful seaside town. She has always had a gift for writing, but even her friends doubt that the Christian devotional content Elaine prefers will ever earn her any money or recognition. As Elaine and her friends hunker down for a category three hurricane, they have no idea just how much this storm is about to supernaturally impact their lives and the lives of people all across the United States. As unforeseen connections, spiritual healing, and miracles take place in the wake of the storm, so too does the peace and encouragement that one can only find in the midst of such devastation.
I found this book to be simply enchanting. If you’ve ever had any bizarre coincidences happen to you that can only be explained as pertaining to God, then you will enjoy this book as much as I did. Elaine and her friends are retirees that each have distinct personalities and challenges to overcome. I enjoyed the realistic banter between the women and the ways they came together to help each other alongside others in their community. It was a very positive picture of the goodness that can come from humanity when faced with the challenges of overcoming a bad storm.
I also really enjoyed the preparations for the hurricane and what it was described like to go through a category three storm. It was scary and interesting to experience the aftermath with the characters, especially since I’ve never been through a hurricane myself. As the storm system moves through different states, it was fun to meet new characters like Cara, a runaway teen, and Billy, a struggling musician, among others, and see how the storm impacted their lives as well. In the end, this book manages to bring a realistic spin to the supernatural in ways that I’ve certainly experienced, and that I’m sure other believers can say they’ve experienced as well. The story left me with a lot of inspiration and positive feelings.
I’d also like to say I just loved the ending. It was surprising and fun and changed my perspective on the entire book. Although the book is supposed to be Christian Fiction, the ending had me wondering just how much of it might actually be based on truth.
If you enjoy a good story that flows from one page to the next, has no offensive content, and will touch you deep in your soul, then “Sabal Palms and the Southern Squall” is a great book for you. The characters and the scenery will charm you and leave you wanting more. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like this book with be Terry Overton’s last, which is a blessing in itself.