Saturday, December 12, 2009
COTTONWOOD WHISPERS by Jennifer Erin Valent
As I picked up Cottonwood Whispers I was glued to the storyline that is set in the 1930's, in the South, and during a time when a man's color meant everything or nothing at all. This is the sequel to Fireflies in December. This is the continuing story of the life of Jessilyn, a young girl, becoming a woman, her sweet friend Gemma, who has lived with her family since she was a child, the boy who is stealing Jessilyn's heart, Luke Talley, and Mr. Poe, the special, elderly man who is accused of the murder of Jessilyn's neighbor Callie, who is just a baby girl. Jessilyn lives on a farm with her mother and father along with Gemma, who has a job at the Hadley's home in town, who happen to be wealthy, and it is Mr. Joel Hadley himself who is the real murderer of Callie, but as Gemma and Jessilyn know this, they are fearful to speak the truth, for Joel has threatened to take away Jessie's family farm, and keep Gemma from her job. As they all learn the truth, they are trying to get Mr. Poe out of jail and put the real murderer behind bars, but the town has a different idea. The people of this town are blindsided by the color of a man's skin, and have lost sight of the truth. This is a story of friendship, of trust, of a new love beginning from a young friendship, a family's faith bringing them together and leaning on Christ's strength to get them through. As they face these trials they learn to trust their Savior, as in the end of the story the sweet neighbor, Ms Cleta, a wise woman who has loss of her own, shares with Jessie just what salvation is all about. I loved this story. I cried and was touched throughout at the sweetness of youth and the beauty of how Christ always is there for us. This was a joy to read, one that can teach us about forgiveness and how its not the color of a man's skin, its the heart of of a man that matters. This book was a gift to me by Tyndale Publishers for its review.