Christy Huddleston left home at 19 to teach school in the Smokey Mountains. There she came to know and love the wild mountain people with their fierce pride, their dark superstitions, their terrible poverty, their yearning for beauty and truth. Christy found her faith severely challenged in these primitive surroundings; and, confronted with two young men of unique strength and needs, she found her own growing yearnings challenged by love.
Christy is set in the backwoods of a time-gone-by Tennessee. Based on the real life adventures of Catherine Marshall’s mother, this book opens up a window on what mountain people had to combat in the early 1900s — an isolated area fraught with hygiene problems, ignorance, and suspicion of outside influences. The story is told in Christy Huddleston’s first person voice, giving fresh eyes to the world of Cutter Gap. I loved how Christy grew as a person as she came to love and minister to the children and women. Teacher was of great influence, yet Christy learned more from her interactions with mentor Miss Alice, friends Fairlight and Opal, and pupils like Little Burl, Ruby Mae, and Lundy. She learned to overlook the smells and dirt and the sometimes backward ways of men and women, as her view became colored by the love she grew to have for the people. The book itself is filled with flowing prose that captures the beauty of the mountains, the nobility (and meanness) of the people, and the work of God in nature and man. All the characters have a complexity that makes them so very real. And if you think that a book that was written 50 years ago about a place and time now remote to the modern reader, then you will be pleasantly surprised. Christy may tell of a time 100 years in the past, but has a relevance for 2017. God’s love is the prevailing theme of the novel, and many of the characters struggle to accept it or live it out in real and meaningful ways. Miss Alice’s character is the plumb line for all others, and she brought a wisdom to the book when others were struggling.
Christy set my imagination aflame! Cutter Gap is a place I know I will visit again.
Very Highly Recommended!
Audience: older teens to adults.
(Thanks to Gilead Publishing and LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
Christy reads very fast for such a lengthy book and it's inevitable that you will grow a strong attachment to the characters.
Christy is thrown into a lifestyle that seems very primitive. At first she can’t bear the smell of unwashed children, and has little idea how to handle them. Gradually she learns to love them for themselves, aided by the delightful Miss Alice, an older Quaker woman. Christy gradually makes friends among the local women….
The novel is educational without being overtly so; it gives an excellent picture of the scourges of poverty, lack of sanitation and illiteracy. It’s Christian in theme, yet without being preachy. There are parts which are shocking, even in an era when disasters and bereavements were fairly common.
It's a long book which is very well-written, and the characters come to life clearly. Highly recommended for older teens as well as adults.
The little place she traveled by foot was too much for me at times. I cried when I read about the children with no shoes, and little food to eat. The author describes a shanty town with no hope of improvement. I loved the story because it really shows how hard times were during that time period, and how the families did what they could to survive. What if you lost everything and had to live in a little place with no electricity or food? Christy was in for some hard times and I loved how she found ways to get donations for the school and children.
David is such a great character. As a preacher in this little backwoods area, he has his hands full with unruly men and secret stills that cause much danger to the people. I loved his sermon he gave after the still had been found out. It is so true that people who are doing bad things love the darkness. That way they think they are hidden and no one knows. But like Preacher David described in his sermon, God sees everything. You can’t hide from Him. Preacher David is so encouraging and a caring man. His devotion to the community is admirable.
The story is filled with how Christy adapts to her new life and the children that she teaches. Her compassion for the children is very heartwarming. I loved the interaction she had with several of the children. Some who needed to know they were important , while others needed guidance. It seems like there is always that one kid in class that is hard to reach. He wants to be tough and show off for the class. I was so intrigued with how Christy handled the boy who tried to intimidate her. If you haven’t had a chance to read this inspiring story, I encourage you to grab a copy. Travel back to the early 1900s and experience a woman with courage, love for children, steadfast faith and hope for a better life for her community.
I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion .
Christy is not a book that you will soon forget, and is likely one that you will want to reread from time to time. I owe, in a large part, my going into the field of education to having read this book while in high school. Having read it again over the years, it was like coming together with old friends as I read it again five years into my retirement. While the book is based on the community of Chapel Hollow in the Morgan Branch Valley of Tennessee, I am always transported back into the book each time I visit Cades Cove just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee and near the town of Townsend where the television story based on this book was filmed. The cabins there are much as I picture those belonging to the book's characters.
I highly recommend this book to all readers, no matter what genre one usually prefers to read in. This timeless classic is too good to miss, and will live in your heart for years to come.
I am grateful to NetGalley and Evergreen Farm an imprint of Gilead Publishing for providing me with a copy of Christy in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.