The story is continued with Jessilyn Lassiter, a young nineteen year old, who has grown into a woman as one summer changes her life forever. Jessilyn is one of those girls who has no fear. She stands for what is right and here in the country of Calloway there are many things that needs changing. Here black and white do not mix. Here pain and fear take grasp of life according to the color of your skin. Jessilyn is not alone. Right by her side is Gemma, her best friend, who has skin darker than hers, but to Jessilyn she doesn't see that. All she sees is beauty, a friend and a sister. Life's tragedy brought these two young girls together as the Klan terrorized Gemma's family in "Cottonwood Whispers". Life is not easy, but life brings blessings and love to these two young women. Jessilyn is deep in love with Luke Talley. In Jessilyn's eyes, Luke isn't returning that love fast enough. We see this young relationship take flight through trial and tragedy as a young friend is lynched and changes the lives of these sweet young people. Tal Pritchett is a young black man, a doctor, who has come into town and the town is not ready for a black man, yet alone one who is a doctor and wants to serve those around him. Gemma catches Tal's eye and we see a pure love blossom between kindred spirits. Color is only seen by those selfish people filled with hatred. Jessilyn wants to change the world around her. Jessilyn is willing to give whatever it takes to bring change and peace. We see Jessilyn go through a change herself as she finds the faith those around her carry. I loved this book. I cried and there were also parts of sweet laughter. This is a book that is a must read. It is one that will change your heart and open your eyes to what hate and prejudice can do.
This book was a gift from Tyndale for it's review.
Jennifer Erin Valent is the 2007 winner of the Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes. In fact, the childhood memory of a dilapidated Ku Klux Klan billboard inspired her portrayal of Depression-era racial prejudice in Fireflies in December.
She has spent the past 15 years working as a nanny and has dabbled in freelance, writing articles for various Christian women's magazines. She still resides in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Visit her Web site at http://www.jennifervalent.com/.