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If you enjoyed the classic novel Christy and the bestselling Mitford series, then you’ll love Beautiful on the Mountain, a real-life tale about serving God in unlikely circumstances. In 1977, Jeannie Light left her fine plantation home amid heartbreak and came to Graves Mill, a tiny hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Alone in an utterly new kind of life, Jeannie was determined to find the courage to make a fresh start.

To Jeannie’s surprise, she found herself called upon by her new neighbors to open the old, deteriorated country church, a place that had once united the fractured community of mountain folk. With no training, and no small amount of trepidation, she undertook the task. And as she embarked on an unforeseen series of adventures, from heartbreaking to hilarious, Jeannie would learn more than she ever expected about faith, loving your neighbor, and doing the work that God sets in front of you. Because sometimes, God calls us to go where there is no path . . . and leave a trail.

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“Because of the blackberry adventure, I was appropriately equipped for my new world. More important, I was beginning to understand that I must rely on God’s providence and guidance to sustain me up there on that beautiful mountain,” Jeannie Light writes in her autobiography, "Beautiful on the Mountain: An Inspiring True Story." At three hundred and eight pages, this paperback targets those who like an inspirational biography of one’s spiritual journey learning to depend on God. Using mainly the New International Version of the Bible, the KJV, NASB, NKVM, ASV, and NLT are referenced. The foreword is by David Aikman. Told in first person, the author readily accepts her misguidance and insecurity in her younger days as an adult. After two months abroad where she connects with the Almighty, she returns to a crumbled marriage. In a divorce settlement, she becomes owner to seven hundred acres of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Tucked away in a beautiful valley, Light leaves city life and adjusts to the rural countryside, wanting to become a shepherdess. Her plans abruptly change when one of the seasoned locals convinces her to reopen the small Graves Mill church that was built in 1885. With God’s continual protection, she moves her beloved dog, two horses, two cats, and twenty chickens to the small cottage nearby the church and considers her new direction to become a missionary to the mountain people. Both positive and negative reactions in the small community arise in regard to a woman teaching the Bible to men, allowing wine or dance within the church’s doors, experiencing Seder dinners, and taking classes to become a deaconess. As the writer morphs from a self-focusing individual to one must be pruned to trust the Lord, she bonds with the neighbors to reestablish religion in the area. As her spiritual growth is documented over fifteen years living on the mountain, her fears, insecurities, and naivety of the Word produce friendships, faith in God, and a deeper knowledge of Scripture. In addition to the Biblical process of becoming an Episcopal lay missionary and unordained deaconess, eclectic stories are told about timber rustlers, snakes, dilapidated buildings, land easements, and the country folk’s opinionated determination. With the minutiae of the residents’ personalities and problems as well as the author’s pet peeves, this well-written but tedious read reinforces how God used this woman to revamp a non-denominational church in the remote hills of Virginia. Thanks to Tyndale Momentum for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange of a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

Beautiful on the Mountain by Jeannie Light was an interesting book. It took a while to get into, but then I was eager to follow with the authoress' life. She doesn't present a sanitized Christianity, but admits her faults, struggles, & errors. I wish there were more to her story. I was eager to see how the community fared down the road, 20 or more years later.

Beautiful on the Mountain by Jeannie Light, is a book I couldn't put down. It tells of the author's heights, depths and in-between's of life. Her hope is sure. Her faith is deeper. Beautiful on the Mountain is a "keeper".