Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas [Book]
Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas is a 2008 romance novel by Sandra D. Bricker, an inaugural book in the “Love Finds You” series published by Summerside Press, a Christian fiction line acquired by Guideposts in 2010 but shuttered in 2013. The goal of the series was “to give readers a taste of local life across America.”
The book centers upon Lucy Binoche, who lives in Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she works in the guest services department of the luxury Conroy Hotel (likely a stand-in for the Capital Hotel). Addressing her thoughts to God, Lucy writes regularly in a prayer journal, the latest entry of which concludes most chapters (some end with recipes). At the beginning of the novel, she is a month away from turning thirty years old. Her best friend, Matt Frazier, tries to talk her into attending a “singles ministry” retreat in Snowball (Searcy County). She initially refuses but changes her mind when she meets Justin Gerard, who will also be attending, and quickly agrees to the trip, despite not being fond of the outdoors. In fact, she has to coax Matt into teaching her the basics, saying, “Give a girl a fish and she’ll eat for a day….But teach a girl to fish, and she’ll come home with a hot boyfriend named Justin.”
At Snowball, Lucy is placed in a cabin with Wendy Marshall, whom she regards as her chief rival for Justin’s affections. While fishing with the group on the Buffalo River, she has Matt discreetly bait her hook for her, and she finds the sight of fish repulsive. Matt also helps her ride a horse and brings her an antihistamine when she proves allergic to hay while on a hayride. However, he comes to lament assisting his friend: “Lucy had been working so hard to become something she wasn’t…that she’d lost sight of the person she actually was.”
Lucy even goes on a trip to Blanchard Springs Caverns despite being claustrophobic and gets hit in the face by a flying bat, and then she throws up on a hot air balloon ride over the Buffalo River. Betty Sue, who works at the camp, at one point confronts Lucy, saying, “Why don’t you tell me why you’re working so hard to be someone you’re not instead of embracing the beautiful woman God made you to be.” Despite her intentions and repeated attempts to connect with Justin, during the trip she discovers that she has deep-seated feelings for Matt. After Lucy badly sprains her foot on a hike with Justin during an odd October snow, she confesses to him that she has been pretending to be someone she is not.
Lucy, since the discovery of her feelings, has to confront the fact that Matt and Wendy seem to have developed a romantic interest in each other. But Wendy, in the final chapter, tells her that Matt had also confessed his feelings toward Lucy. She then confronts Matt on a ridge at the camp, and they both confess their love for each other. In the epilogue, Lucy writes in her prayer journal that, six months after that day, she is preparing to marry Matt on that same ridge, and she signs her last journal entry “Lucy Binoche Frazier.”
Sandra D. Bricker (born in 1958) was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles, California, before turning to novel writing, and she produced more than twenty novels, mostly Christian romantic fiction, before her 2016 death. The novel incorporates mentions of a number of Arkansas institutions, such as the Loca Luna and Terrace restaurants in Little Rock, the University of Arkansas (UA) Razorbacks basketball team, the Hillcrest and Quapaw Quarter neighborhoods in Little Rock, Magic Springs in Hot Springs (Garland County), Arkansas black apples, and the reintroduced elk. Characters also take a day trip to Mountain View (Stone County).
For additional information:
Bricker, Sandra D. Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas. Bloomington, MN: Summerside Press, 2008.
Love Finds You. https://lovefindsyou.wordpress.com/ (accessed November 9, 2023).
Staff of the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas
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