The Holliman sisters have voices like angels. In 1972, when their father, Garland, hears the girls’ beautiful harmonies, he decides to start a family gospel group with his wife Big Jean and four teenage children: the twins, Jeannie and Junior, and their younger sisters, Debbie and Patty. The Gospelettes become a popular act, traveling throughout Kentucky and the surrounding states spreading the gospel in song. But as society outgrows their way of life, changes are encroaching even on their small town and the sheltered Holliman children.

The Evolution of the Gospelettes follows the family and their transformation from old-time gospel singers in the 1970s to performers on a televangelist program in the 1980s to founding members of a megachurch in the 1990s. As the new millennium approaches, Jeannie, whose beliefs have evolved and irreversibly departed from her family’s, fears what will happen the more entrenched they become in fundamentalist thinking and finds herself in a fight to save the people she loves from self-destruction.

This debut novel is a compelling exploration of family ties and rifts, faith and doubt, and holiness and hypocrisy in a changing world.


The Evolution of the Gospelettes tells the story of a gifted family in a rapidly changing world, as older faith is challenged by more inclusive belief. This is Appalachian storytelling at its best and truest, where loyalty and love endure and prevail.

~Robert Morgan, author of Fallen Angel: The Life of Edgar Allan Poe

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Tammy Oberhausen has an MFA in writing from Spalding University and lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

by Tammy Oberhausen

Length: 304 pages
Releases: November 2024