Dear Fellow Reader,
Do you ever have sentimental feelings about a book? The type of feelings that get you to re-read a book? Maybe it was the book or that time in your life that you found the book that affects your feelings for the story. There are books that withstand going back to re-read and some that don’t. I know that I was wild about Lillian Hellman’s Pentimento when I read it in my 20’s. When I re-read it a few years ago, it did not give me the same warm feelings. Okay, I didn’t really like it. We know that the book didn’t change. I think our thoughts and feelings at the time affect our reactions to a book.
There are some books that can stir the same emotions whenever you read them. I know that re-reading Great Expectations a few years ago was very different from reading it in freshman English. (and I am pretty sure I read it then) (Just kidding, I did.)
I was asked to read and review Christy by Catherine Marshall. The book is being re-issued to celebrate 50 years since its publication. For the first time ever, it is available as an eBook. (And when I say I was asked to review, it means that I was given the book and asked to give an honest review. Yes, it was a freebie.)
I do not know if I had read Christy before. What I do know is that I watched the TV show. The show was on (way) back in 1994-1995 and starred Kellie Martin as Christy. I liked the TV show.
The story of Christy is the story (fictionalized) of Catherine Marshall’s mother. Christy at age 19 feels drawn to go to teach at a mission school in a rural Appalachian community. While she thought she understood that they were poor, she had no idea what “poor” meant. It was a shock to her that her students did not own shoes or have running water or electricity in their homes. She did not know that there could really be feuds between families that went on for decades and would mean that members of the families would actually kill each other. Going to Cutter Gap would show her a completely different world from her affluent home in Ashville, NC.
Once Christy got beyond the smells and the dirt, she found wonderful people who had so much to teach her. While she could teach the basics, she learned much more about compassion and seeing the worth of people.
“She was teaching me about true freindship too. Through Fairlight’s eyes I came to know a quality of friendship which bore little resemblance to the casualness of our relationships back home. The mountain type of friendship was the tie of substance between people with a sort of gallant fealty about it. It had to do with a time in the past when there was no more final bond than a man’s pledged owrd; when every connection of blood and family was firm and strong, forged in the past, stretching into the future.”
This is a long book. At 506 pages, it is a bit intimidating. BUT is really sucks you in from the beginning and it is a quick read. I found that I didn’t really want to put it down. Christy’s growth as a person and the stories of the mountain people move the story along quickly. There was not a point where I wondered when the book would end. It is a good book to read curled up in front of the fire.
If you are curious about the television show, then YouTube is your answer. It seems that whole season is there for you. I may have to go back and check it out. But read the book, it is a nice, heart-warming read.
Thanks for reading!