Hairt Before Dawn

You want to know who I love, in addition to Lutheran authors? Lutheran church libraries! And I’ve learned about a church librarian turned Lutheran author: Grace E. Howell. Her first novel is Hairt Before Dawn: A Novel of Perseverance

Welcome to my list of living Lutheran authors, Grace! I don’t know whether you’ll see this, but I’m always so thankful when Lutherans write! (And sorry I missed your release date!)

Here’s the Amazon description for Hairt Before Dawn:

Nothing—not blindness, shunning, or fire demons, not even the evil Mr. Dayton—can stop Hairt when she follows the spirit of her birth mother and sets out to prove her worth.


  • a fascinating coming of age novel,
  • a magical tale of haunting music and a hovering spirit,
  • a realistic account of the Black Patch Wars,
  • an intriguing story of blind school, and
  • a stirring look at family life with a faithful coonhound.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE,1904. The Black Patch is torn apart in a violent struggle between tobacco farmers and against big business. Fifteen-year-old Harriette Lindstrom, called dumb Hairt, is caught up in the conflict. Totally blind and determined to prove she can do more than milk cows and work tobacco, she leaves the tobacco farm, her adopted family, and her beloved coonhound Mutt. At the Tennessee School for the Blind, she finds friends, learns her singing is exceptional, and meets the boy with a special voice. Best of all, surgery restores some of her vision, and she lives her dreams of love and acceptance until she learns she is the granddaughter of the wealthy and overbearing Mrs. Barrington. Then her life becomes a living nightmare of persecution, fear, and entrapment that she must escape to save her family from the ravaging Night Riders of the Tobacco Cooperative.

This sounds great! And teen-friendly! I’ll be adding it to my wish list and I hope you will, too. 

PS. I think “Dumb Hairt” is the most southern thing ever! I can also imagine Hairt before dawn to refer to hurt before dawn. Hmm. 


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