Buttermilk Sky is a turn-of-the-century tale that follows Jan Watson's previous historical novels: Tattler's Branch, Skip Rock Shallows, Still House Pond, Sweetwater Run, and the Troublesome Creek series which includes Troublesome Creek, Willow Springs, and Torrent Falls. The book stands completely on its own although reading her other books would deepen the atmosphere and heighten our appreciation of the sub-culture captured in these books.
Young Sheriff Chanis Clay is following in his father's rather large shoes as peacekeeper and law enforcement officer in a Kentucky mountain county and specifically the community of Skip Rock. He loves his work, but has much to learn about human nature and life in general. Still, he feels he's ready to settle down and has his heart fixed on Mazy Pelfrey for his life's companion. He loves her and all his dreams and goals include her. He even bought a house and started its renovation. But Mazy is not ready to commit herself to marriage yet. She feels restless and unsettled; she wants to experience a bit of life first. So Mazy leaves her family, her twin, her beau, and her mountain community to live in Lexington, take a secretarial course and make some new friends. Most of this story focuses on Mazy as she tries to find her place as a single girl in life.
This book was a fun, quick read for me. The author sprinkles in plenty of humor and laughs for both Chanis and Mazy in their separate worlds. The sheriff deals with incidences among the mountain folk with amusing tongue-in-cheek wit. My favorite episode was when he nearly lost Frank Cheney, a giant of a man turned bank robber, when transporting him from one community's jail to another nearby jail. Eventually, Chanis' dealing with Frank literally changed his life. Mazy's way of adapting to city life, trying new foods, wearing new clothes, all the while trying not to look like a country bumpkin, is often rib tickling.
At first, Mazy appeared to me to be a shallow, unthinking piece of fluff, content to imitate everyone else and gain favor with her study group's leader, Eva, no matter what it took. But eventually she realized the futility of her efforts, and the real Mazy emerged. The Mazy of the final chapters was a 180 degree turn-around from the Mazy of the beginning of the story. Her journey from first to last is what makes this book great reading for women.
Finally, as a faith-based read, the author includes many thought-provoking moments of revelation for both the main characters, without being preachy. Character development and faith in God with all its practical implications were woven together seamlessly throughout the book. A real, vital relationship with God should be as natural as breathing. The author demonstrates this in her writings. It is something I greatly appreciate among authors I read the most. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley on behalf of Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
I have been reading a great many books lately by new to me authors and Buttermilk Sky is my first read from Jan Watson. It was a lovely coming of age story about a young woman who is trying to find her own way in life. Mazy (I really liked that name) has left her small mountain town of Skip Rock and is going to secretarial school in the city. This story takes place during the year 1913. When she left, she also left the sheriff, Chanis, who is a few years older than her and very much in love with her. Though they are apart for most of the story, we get a really good characterization of both Mazy and Chanis as we are seeing life happen through both of their viewpoints. I really liked both characters. Mazy was sweet and innocent and really had to learn about the world through her own experiences before she could see the gifts she already had. She had a couple of harrowing near misses and I enjoyed seeing her relate with her city friends. Chanis was a really fun character to get to know. He was a simple fellow who for the most part knew what he wanted in life. He took care of his responsibilities and he loved Mazy with his whole heart. Some of the situations he found himself in, because he was the sheriff, had me laughing out loud even though they were serious situations that could have taken his life. Again, he was such a fun character and Jan Watsons writing was a delight to read. I received my review copy from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
All of Jan Watson's books are in my home library, and all were able to draw the reader in and keep them turning pages. "Buttermilk Sky" simply was not nearly as good as the rest of the series, and did not hold my attention as the her other books did.
Jan Watson in her new book Buttermilk Sky published by Tyndale House Publishers introduces us to Mazy Pelfrey.
From the back cover: Weary of the expectations imposed on her by her strict upbringing, eighteen-year-old Mazy Pelfrey prepares to leave her home in the Kentucky mountains for the genteel city of Lexington, where shell attend secretarial school. She knows her life is about to changeand only for the better. Everything will be blue skies from now on.
But business school is harder than she thought it would be and the big city not as friendly, until she meets a charming young man from a wealthy family, Loyal Chambers. When Loyal sets his sights on her, Mazy begins to see that everything shed ever wished to have is right before her eyes. The only hindrance to her budding romance is a former beau, Chanis Clay, the young sheriff she thought shed left firmly behind.
Danger rumbles like thunder on a high mountain ridge when Mazys cosseted past collides with her clouded future and forces her to come to terms with what she really wants.
They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Mazy decides the life she has at home is way too constricting for her and sets off to learn business. However it isnt quite what she expected until she meets Loyal and thinks she fell in love. However she did leave the boy at home behind, or so she thought, because Chanis comes after her. Now what is she to do? Ms. Cote has given us a very exciting story filled with high drama. She has also given us plenty to think about: the struggles of growing up, dangers of romance, dealing with peer pressure and coming into your own and how God has to work through individual problems so that each can heal and move into destiny. Great stuff. I am so looking forward to more from this very talented author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.