There are those sweet times that you pick up a novel, begin reading, and you are swept away to another time and place. You know, those novels that not only tell a story, but captivate the heart. This is that novel for me.
Meeting Ruby and Bean in 1933 greatly moved my heart. These young girls by all accounts shouldn't have been friends. Ruby growing up in town at the company store and Bean growing up across the tracks in an area where the company store was their lifeline. But something brought these two girls together and that is the story we are gifted to follow.
Fabry is genius how he connected the years of 1933 and 2004. With each chapter we move back and forth to these years, each with their own importance to the story. Sometimes a writer can do this and as a story moves from year to year with chapter to chapter it can grow very confusing. But Fabry does so in a way that it flows like a crystal river.
He brings us characters that I simply adored. My heart fell in love with Ruby and Bean. But there are more characters we meet that left an imprint. There is one in particular, Hollis. We witness this man fight hard for what he believes in. A land where family survived and lived generations before him. He doesn't want to give up his land and he is willing to stand alone. That's a huge message. Because there will be times in our lives where others sell out for one reason or another, and we must make the choice of what steps we will take. No matter what the choice there will be consequences.
Another character I too adored and admired was Charlotte. She is the granddaughter of Hollis. She is a journalist. Her character is strong and sure. She walks fearless. She is living in 2004 and is doing some investigative journalism in the company store of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia. This takes her back to 1933 when the mine and store were connected in every way.
Throughout the story we follow Ruby. We see her life when she was young and as she ages. She's living alone and has two grown children. Ruby wants to remain on her own, live with freedom, and carry on as she always has done. But her children are concerned and want to do all they can to protect and love her. This hit home for me because I am living this situation today. Although they are wanting to care and protect for their mother, they just aren't doing it in a way Ruby is accepting. I am grateful for these characters for they have taught me lessons that I can walk with my own mother. Most of all protection isn't always taking away the keys and freedom isn't always living with them.
This is one of those wondrous stories that should be on the big screen. These black and white words came to life for me. I found this novel to be a treasure of love, friendship, forgiveness, and realizing a life well lived takes dedication beyond our own, but a journey of faith.
I too must applaud Tyndale. More and more as novels are released from Christian based publishers, a reader expects to have faith woven throughout the novel, but more and more this faith in Jesus is missing. I can say that I haven't found that with Tyndale. They are remaining true to who they are for readers who appreciate a work penned with faith at the center.
Happy reading. Enjoy!😊
This novel was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you.
Chris Fabry is an award-winning, bestselling author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. Visit his website at www.chrisfabry.com.