Thursday, October 25, 2012

Christy by Catherine Marshall

Christy is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it as a young teenager and it captured my heart then as well as now after re-reading it. I find it so hard to write a review of a classic for some reason so I'm going to go a little different than normal and just introduce the characters:

Christy Huddleston: A 19 year old full of idealism goes to Cutter Gap to teach the mountain children of the Cove. She has never taught before but doesn't realize how difficult her job will be. Over 60 students in all grades would challenge even a seasoned teacher. She is shocked by the poverty of the mountain people. Children who walk to school barefoot in the snow, no running water in their cabins, very few outhouses. But yet full of so much pride that feuds are common among them.

Miss Alice Henderson: A Quaker woman who has settled among the people and has started a couple of schools for the mountain children. Christy admires her peace and her ability to maintain a Quaker silence in order to listen for God's voice in her heart. Miss Alice has come to be respected in the Cove and they value her presence and example.

David Grantland: The young preacher who struggles with the stubbornness of these mountain people. He like Christy finds himself kicking at tradition that has been in place for hundreds of years. And like Christy he too is struggling with who he is. A pastor that cannot offer people an assurance of an afterlife because he has no idea if there is one. Pushed into seminary by his mother and sisters, David questions faith but yet has a true desire to help the mountain people.

Dr. Neill MacNeill: The doctor who was born and raised among the mountain people but yet is still apart from them because of his education and position. Also a man that confuses and angers Christy. He challenges her to think for herself and to form her own opinions.

Fairlight Spencer: The first adult that Christy teaches to read. Also Christy's first friend among the mountain people. She has a grace and beauty that transcends the poverty in which she lives. Fairlight teaches Christy how to enjoy the beauty around her.

Bird's Eye Taylor and his son Lundy: Bird's Eye is part of a blockade running gang. Lundy is one of Christy's students. Both examples of the pride and anger that the mountain men carry with them in maintaining their feuds.

Opal Machone: Her new discovery that God actually loves her helps her to be the first to extend forgiveness to someone who seems unforgivable.

Such a great great book! I came to love all of the people in the story just as the young Christy learns that really looking at someone and investing in their lives can help you look beyond the dirt and squalor to see the real person and love them where they are at.

This is my last book in the Contentment Reading Challenge. I set a goal as Wading which was to re-read 10 books this year. It's nice to finish a goal!

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