Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tattler's Branch by Jan Watson

"Tattler's Branch" is the newest addition to Jan Watson's penned creations focusing on the people living in the Kentucky countryside. When I selected to review, "Tattler's Branch", I was unaware that it was a part of a series. It follows, "Skip Rock Shallows", "Still House Pond", "Sweetwater Run", and the Troublesome Creek series. With this being said, I think this could be a stand alone novel. I have reviewed a few of the others in this series and found that they too could be read as stand alone novels. It's always a joy to have the pleasure of beginning with the first novel. 

If you enjoy nice, easy, slow reads this book is surely one you will enjoy. I found that Jan Watson has an attention for detail, giving the reader a precise view of the surroundings and a clear understanding of the characters.Watson's writing style flows through this novel like a sweet brook of rippling water. It's easy and has a comforting feel. 

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were real and I was transported back in time in an era where women were not necessarily treated as equals. Let me share with you a few things that I enjoyed from this novel. The main characters are Lilly, who is a doctor. Her husband is Tern. Their marriage is one in which Lilly must be independent. Tern is away from home quite a bit. His job keeps him from being home as he would like. This is a reality in our world today. Both of their jobs are important and both learn great lessons that bring them closer as they see God's dream for them unfold. Lilly is a strong character. Her last name, Still, describes her perfectly. This is a woman who walks in her faith. She doesn't allow fear to stir her. Through her journey she has learned to be still as she waits upon the Lord. 

Skip Rock is a small community and it's people have learned to depend on one another. This is tough for another main character, Armina. She has taken care of herself most of her life. Her husband is away more than he is home. This doesn't lesson their love for one another. It's just the circumstances that are a part of their lives. When Armina needs help like never before it's hard for her to accept it. This independent woman learns what it means to depend on others and trust them. This is quite humbling for Armina, but it is a lesson that brings her to open her heart more and to experience friendship like never before. 

In this story line a baby is born. To some she would look imperfect. To others they see the beauty she holds. In 1911 they had a different word for Down's Syndrome. Mongoloid would be the term they would have used. I think this may be the sweetest part of the book for me. We see this little one born and how some are not accepting. Most of this nonacceptance is because this isn't something that is understood.

So we have murder take place. Armina sees a man taking a woman into the water. What happens next causes great fear in her heart. This is where the story begins to build. Armina sees what happens before her eyes but remains hidden. She doesn't know what to do. If she steps out she fears she will be next.

As this story unravels Jan Watson takes us through each character and gives us time to know them and understand them. If we didn't have a clear picture of the characters their actions would be hard to understand. This was a sweet read for me. One that opened my eyes to a time that is forgotten. A time when women had to be on their own and learn to live independently. But what Jan shows us here is that we can be independent, while depending on God for strength. 

This book was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you. 

Jan Watson won the 2004 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for her first novel, Troublesome Creek. Her other awards include being named the best Kentucky author in 2012 by Kentucky Living magazine, a nomination for the Kentucky Literary Award in 2006 and second place in the 2006 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest sponsored by the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Jan has published seven novels. As a registered nurse for 25 years at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, she incorporates her nursing experience in the hospital's mother/baby unit into her novels. Jan resides in Kentucky.


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