(Review) Christy by Catherine Marshall

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Christy Catherine MarshallSome stories are evergreen, their themes and lessons standing the test of time and connecting with readers generation after generation. Reconnect with Catherine Marshall’s beloved Christy as it celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new edition! As nineteen-year-old teacher Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home of Cutter Gap, some see her-and her one-room school-as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove. Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

Celebrate the new 50th anniversary edition of Christy by entering to win one of TWO $50 Visa cash cards (details below) and by attending a Facebook Live party on December 5!

TWO grand prize winners will receive:

  • One copy of Christy
  • One $50 Visa Cash Card

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 5. The winner will be announced at the Christy Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with authors who’ve been impacted by Christy and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Catherine Marshall

Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), The New York Times best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel Christy. Based on the life of her mother, Christy captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in A Man Called Peter. A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of Guideposts, forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Find out more about Catherine at http://gileadpublishing.com/christy/. 

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Publisher and Publication Date: Evergreen Farm, an imprint of Gilead Publishing. 2017. Originally published in 1967.
Genre: Fiction. Appalachian Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains.
Pages: 512.
Source: Complimentary copy from Evergreen Farm, Gilead Publishing and Litfuse Publicity Group.
Rating: Excellent.

My Thoughts:
I first read Christy as a teenage girl. Although we had books in my childhood home, nonfiction were usually the books on the shelf. My mother had been given a copy of Christy to read. Then, she passed the book on to me. It is a book I quickly became attached to. And, it is a book that became memorable.

In 1912, Christy Huddleston, left her home in Asheville, Tennessee, at age 19, and traveled by train to rural eastern Tennessee to be a teacher.

    1. Several things I love about Christy’s character: steadfastness, perseverance, wanted to make a difference, adventurous, stoic, strong-willed, unselfish, patient, ambitious, a born leader, level-headed, a deep thinker, intelligent, honest, and loyal. There are moments in the story where I saw her positive traits, and there are moments when I saw her negative traits. She is a heroine but not an over-the-top type heroine. She is a young woman who has a strong character and a boldness many women her age do not possess. She is a character I admired many years ago and still admire. She left the security of home and family, and traveled to a strange place and culture. She had to learn to adapt to the people of Cutter Gap, Tennessee. This last aspect is something all people should learn. We may not agree with another culture group. We may not like how the other culture group lives. But it is a very good thing to listen and not judge. Just to clarify. If the other culture group wants to abuse, break the law or incite a war-I’m not referring to them. I am referring to people of race, religion, economic status, education level, and political views. There is a big difference between disagreeing and hate.
      Christy’s character and her story is the main aspect of why I love this book.
      2. A second aspect of why I love this story is something that can easily be missed. I have read many books where the story tries too hard to make an impression. Christy is a fluid story. It reminds me of a river. The water moves but not always fast, sometimes it turns at a bend, and sometimes it moves rapid. The story takes its time to reveal itself and at different paces. For example, Christy makes a point to visit in the homes of the people who live in Cutter Gap. She is an observant girl. Some of the observations will pop-up in secondary stories. Christy gets an education in how the people live, their superstitions, and their isolated existence; and she is shown an innocence of the people yet they can also be violent.
      3. Another aspect of why I love this story is the descriptions of eastern Tennessee. All the seasons are described in vividness. The homes of where the people live are described in such detail I felt I too was there.
      4. The women of Cutter Gap. A reference is made of the women having an intuition about some things. These women depend on one another. They understand the culture of men and women and what is expected. They live a hard life, and not just a life of toil, but of living with heart-wrenching secrets.
      5. Secondary characters. Fairlight Spencer is ethereal. She is like a character in a poem. She does not seem to be apart of this earth but of heavenly origin. Christy taught Fairlight to read. They have a strong and immediate bond. Fairlight is an interesting secondary character because she is “different.” Another character is Alice. She has a strong perception of people. She is wise, observant, and patient. She has a way of saying a few words that causes Christy to ponder. Dr. MacNeil is the country doctor who understands the people. He is a large man and yet he has a gentle quality. He is a person who hold many thoughts and secrets behind his curious hazel eyes.

Several quotes I love:

So many people never pause long enough to make up their minds about basic issues of life and death. It’s quiet possible to go through your whole life, making the mechanical motions of living, adopting as your own sets of ideas you’ve picked up some place or other, and die-never having come to any conclusion for yourself as you what life is all about. Page 314.

…I saw for the first time that we have to accept people the way they are and not be shocked about anything. In my idealism, that had been hard for me. Page 382.

The words were like understanding hands reaching out for me across the centuries. Their cry and mind, those others whom I had never known in the flesh, was the cry of the vulnerable human heart. There was comfort in the knowledge of our common humanity. Page 436.

And the last line in the book, which I will not share, is one of the most beautiful last lines in fiction.

Final Thoughts:
Although religion is discussed in Christy. I do not consider this story to be a genre of Christian fiction. There are characters who are believers in Jesus. There are characters who take a bit of this and a bit of that. There are characters who do not believe in Jesus.
The book has a romantic element but this is not strong until the end.
The strength of the story is the character Christy, the people of Cutter Gap, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the wisdom and love that is learned.

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