Friday, December 1, 2017

CHRISTY by Catherine Marshall

Some stories are evergreen, their themes and lessons standing the test of time and connecting with readers generation after generation. Reconnect with Catherine Marshall’s beloved Christy as it celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new edition! As nineteen-year-old teacher Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home of Cutter Gap, some see her—and her one-room school—as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove. Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?
Celebrate the new 50th anniversary edition of Christy by entering to win one of TWO $50 Visa cash cards (details below) and by attending a Facebook Live party on December 5!

TWO grand prize winners will receive:
  • One copy of Christy
  • One $50 Visa Cash Card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 5. The winner will be announced at the Christy Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with authors who’ve been impacted by Christy and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Catherine Marshall

{More About Catherine Marshall}

Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Find out more about Catherine at


Knowing that CHRISTY is a timeless story with both romance and life lessons as powerful today as they were fifty years ago when Catherine Marshall's book first hit the shelves, the author's family has decided to publish a special 50th anniversary copy.  I can't pinpoint the exact time that I first read the novel set in the mountains of Cutters Gap, but I know it was soon after its publication, and I always felt everyone should read it. And when the book was made into the popular television series starring Kellie Martin, although not a consistent viewer, I did like the series.   So when given the chance to reread the book and write a current review, I anticipated that I would enjoy the book and be able to easily write a glowing review.  Little did I realize that this reading would captivate me in a totally different way.  Already remembering the basic story line of 19 year old Christy Huddleston's arrival in Cutter's Gap to teach at the Appalachian mission school, I found my attention was drawn more to the details about the Scots-Irish people who settled this section of Appalachia -- what brought them to America in the 1700s, the Old English language which morphed into a dialect unlike any other area of America and the music that brought a bit of brightness to a mostly dark existence. As every page turned, it seemed that another ramification of their isolated way of life was presented for us to examine.  Their love of poetry, music, and even Latin seemed a glimpse back into an earlier time, one more suitable for the British upper class than these impoverished hills.  And as mission worker Miss Alice points out again and again, these people had an emotional sensitivity that ran deep within their veins, but too often instead of being used for creating or appreciating beauty, the sensitivity led to petty smallness, blowing up into destructive feuding.  How perceptive that seems now, with all the recent research on emotional sensitive people.

With this reading, it seemed that Christy became more and more my ears and eyes, a pathway to witness the beauty of the hills (one description of a hike to the top of a mountain had me almost believing fairies would start dancing at the summit), but also its harsh realities.  An eerie darkness seemed to hover over the tiny cabins, almost imprisoning the women to a life of hardship and grief.  And then the reader, along with Christy, must contemplate God's role in this poverty and along with the purpose and value of charity.  The lessons that Christy, Alice, David, and Dr. MacNeil learn are the same ones that missionaries, teachers, and social workers even today must face.  How do you help a single person or a whole group better themselves without destroying or invalidating that which makes them individuals, unique and valuable in their own right?   

Throughout the first 200 pages, I found myself jotting down quotations, little nuggets from
Miss Alice's perspective and then later,from Christy herself.  First there is Miss Alice's thoughts about the difference between a religion of fear versus a religion of joy.  Then there is the "staking" or "claiming" of our gifts from God.  And I had to stop and contemplate Miss Alice's observation that sometimes we have to accept that someone was meant to be our "bundle."  Those of us who have worked in education, who have raised children, and then cared for aging parents will know what she meant -- we've had many bundles over the yeasr.  Then later as I watched Christy experience so much illness and sudden death, I better understood the phrase "grief not my own."  Don't you think that in today's world we often face grief not our own, and we need to find a way to work through it to find God's joy?  

So my review of this book is much deeper than I ever anticipated.  I would highly recommend this as a Christian book club choice or as an accompaniment to a Bible study.
There is a lot to discuss here, much more than romance and coming of age. If you read Christy years ago, why not read it again.  You will not be disappointed. I received a copy from the publisher and Litfuse; all opinions are mine. 

1 comment:

  1. I had not read this book before, but now I am so glad I did. What a wonderful story. I highly recommend it too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.