As I try to forget about the outcome of my fate in regards to a play I auditioned for I will try to gather the increasingly scattered thoughts in my brain to put together this review. Number one I think I should point out that this picture is not my book cover. It's actually the cover of the TV show DVD release. My book is one of those horrendously covered mass market editions where the girl on the front cover is dancing joyously through the mountains, making you think you're about to read a novelization of The Sound of Music. I like this cover more, so I'm using it. Anyway this is one of those books we've had on our shelf's for a long time. In fact we have two copies. An old hardcover copy I've always thought of as the "show copy" and a bendy paper back for reading. Now I felt sorry for this book because we've had it forever and no ones read it. Usually I'm wary about books proclaimed as best sellers that are deeply moving because I recently read one that only moved me to boredom, but I decided to give this one a try. Okay now on with the essential information!
Author: Catherine Marshall
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reading Level: 14 and up
Summary: 19 year old Christy Huddleston leaves her home on impulse to teach school in the Smoky Mountains. There she is faced with the harsh reality and lifestyles of the mountain people who have strong convictions and fierce pride, But through them Christy learns many new things about herself, the people, and world around her.
My Review: Well this time those book critics featured in the first few pages of a book extolling it's virtues weren't lying. Catherine Marshall has a great way of writing, and by the time your finished the book you feel as though you've been through everything Christy has. It's written in the first person narrative so that also helps. Christy is a great character, and Catherine Marshall really shows her naivety in the beginning of the book, but also shows you glimpses of her strength that began to develop as the book goes on. The book also shows you how hard life was back in 1912 for the people who lived far from civilization. It's not like the fun romantic Victorian life style that most people portray in books and movies. It is a realistic book, and sometimes goes into harsh subjects, but Catherine Marshall never leaves you feeling as if there is no hope. Her characters are strong, and even though bad things will happen to them, they don't let it destroy their lives. They keep moving forward, looking into the future and seeing the good around them, no matter how small. The morals and messages that are intertwined in the book are universal, and I think anyone can take away something beautiful and new from them. There are also lot's of sprinkles of romance and comedy, as Christy finds herself drawn to two very different men. one is a young preacher with a broken nose named David. I mention the nose because, you will be reminded of it a lot in the book. One of those hang ups authors writing in the first narrative with a girls voice get when they describe the main guys. The other is an argumentative doctor name Neil MacNeill (Could Catherine Marshall not think of a first name that didn't rhyme with the last one?) who has red hair that need to be cut(another thing Christy won't let you forget). These add to the interest and enjoyment of the book which is good because it's quite long.
Content: Violence, some disturbing thematic elements, and a little language.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Recommend: Definitely, and mostly for people who enjoy historical fiction, but I don't and I really liked it.
Upcoming Books: Alas my currently reading list on Shelfari is empty. Have no fear though, I will be back. Number one with my review on Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata, and second, I will be dipping into the horror(and I don't mean that the book is a horror novel) that is New Moon by Stephenie Meyer so that should be interesting.
As always your devoted bibliophile,